A number of landfills in North America have been reported to exhibit elevated landfill gas temperatures. In some cases, these facilities appear to be undergoing exothermic chemical reactions in the absence of oxygen.

Luckily, the nature of these reactions is the subject of ongoing research. A webinar titled "Exothermic Reactions in Elevated Temperature Landfills: Field Observations & Laboratory Experiments" describes the chemical reactions that may occur in elevated temperature landfills (ETLFs) and the expected gaseous, liquid, and solid reaction products. Liquid and gas composition as reported at selected ETLFs will be compared to liquids and gases produced in exothermic and anaerobic chemical reactions involving materials similar to those present in municipal solid waste.

At the completion of this 1.5-hour webinar, participants will understand:

  • The types of exothermic chemical reactions that may occur in landfills at temperatures above the range at which biological activity is inhibited
  • The expected gaseous, liquid and solid products produced during anaerobic and exothermic chemical reactions
  • How to interpret gas and liquid composition measurements from ETLFs
  • The difference between exothermic reactions in ETLFs and landfill “fires” and “smoldering combustion”
  • Published literature on the thermal reactions of biomass-like substrates that may provide insight into ETLF phenomena

The webinar is Dec. 14 from 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM (Eastern) for $79 per person. REGISTER HERE


Dr. Morton Barlaz, Ph.D., P.E - Distinguished University Professor and Department Head Dept. of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering North Carolina State University

Dr. Barlaz received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. He has been involved in research on various aspects of solid waste since 1983. Over this time, he has conducted research on biological and chemical processes in landfills, waste decomposition and methane production in landfills, and the behavior of hazardous wastes in landfills. He has participated in two state-of-the-practice reviews of bioreactor landfills. His research forms the basis for much of the work done to assess the impact of landfills on methane emissions inventories. Dr. Barlaz is also recognized for his research on the use of life-cycle analysis to evaluate environmental emissions associated with alternate solid waste management strategies. He has authored over 125 peer-reviewed publications and has made over 200 presentations at conferences throughout the world. Dr. Barlaz has served as an Associate Editor for two journals (Waste Management and Journal of Environmental Engineering), as co-chair of the bi-annual Intercontinental Landfill Research Symposium for 12 years, and on the Science Advisory Committee for the International Waste Working Group. He has also served as chair of the Government Affairs Committee and the Lectures Committee for the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors.

Dr. Craig Benson, Ph.D. - Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science University of Virginia

Dr. Benson is Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia as well as the Janet and John Hamilton Endowed Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Benson has a BS from Lehigh University and MSE and PhD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Dean Benson was appointed as Wisconsin Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chair of the Dept. of Geological Engineering, and Director of Sustainability Research and Education for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Marco J. Castaldi - Associate Professor Chemical Engineering Department The City College (CCNY) of City University of New York (CUNY)

Marco Castaldi was born in New York City and received his B.S. ChE (Magna cum Laude) from Manhattan College. His Ph.D. is in Chemical Engineering from UCLA and he has minors in Advanced Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics. Professor Castaldi has approximately 60 peer-reviewed research articles, 40 peer-reviewed conference papers, 3 book chapters and 11 patents in the fields of catalysis, combustion and gasification. Some of his research findings have been covered by The New York Times, The Observer, CNN, and other trade publications. Prior to his academic career Professor Castaldi worked as Manager of Fuel Processor Component Development for Precision Combustion Inc. in New Haven, CT overseeing projects totaling $5 MM. Recent professional activities and awards include: Fulbright Global Award (2016); National Research Council, Panel Member Appointment (2014); National Academy of Engineering Fellow, Frontiers of Engineering Education (2012); American Chemical Soc. Environmental Division Best Paper Presentation (2010); National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2009); International Precious Metal Institute Student Advisor Award (2009); ASME, Gas Turbine Award (2005); and ASME, Best Applications Paper Award (2004).

Scott Luettich, P.E. - Principal and Engineering Department Manager Geosyntec Consultants

Mr. Luettich received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in the 1980s. He is a Professional Engineer (PE) in several states. Mr. Luettich provides management and technical direction for several design engineers throughout New England who analyze all aspects of landfill design including: stability of waste slopes and foundations, liner and leachate collection system performance, operation of gas collection/control systems, final cover systems, and post-closure care. He has considerable expertise in optimizing landfill design for difficult site and geometric conditions, as well as design and operation of bioreactor and leachate-recirculation landfills. Since 2006, Mr. Luettich has worked on landfills where elevated operating temperatures have been detected. His experience spans the design and installation of in-situ instrumentation for measuring temperatures and pressures in the waste, 3-dimensional (3D) spatial imaging, thermal modeling, energy balance analyses, and evaluation/design of cooling techniques.