Airborne emissions of mercury from municipal solid waste. I: New measurements from six operating landfills in Florida
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Air Waste Manage. Assoc.
REACTIVE GASEOUS MERCURY; AMBIENT AIR; GAS; SPECIATION; EXCHANGE; Engineering, Environmental; Environmental Sciences; Meteorology &; Atmospheric Sciences
Mercury-bearing material enters municipal landfills from a wide array of sources, including fluorescent lights, batteries, electrical switches, thermometers, and general waste; however, the fate of mercury (Hg) in landfills has not been widely studied. Using automated flux chambers and downwind atmospheric sampling, we quantified the primary pathways of Hg vapor releases to the atmosphere at six municipal landfill operations in Florida. These pathways included landfill gas (LFG) releases from active vent systems, passive emissions from landfill surface covers, and emissions from daily activities at each working face (WF). We spiked the WF at two sites with known Hg sources; these were readily detected downwind, and were used to test our emission modeling approaches. Gaseous elemental mercury (Hg-o) was released to the atmosphere at readily detectable rates from all sources measured; rates ranged from similar to 1-10 ng m(-2) hr(-1) over aged landfill cover, from similar to 8-20 mg/hr from LFG flares (LFG included Hg-0 at mu g/m(3) concentrations), and from similar to 200-400 mg/hr at the WF. These fluxes exceed our earlier published estimates. Attempts to identify specific Hg sources in excavated and sorted waste indicated few readily identifiable sources; because of effective mixing and diffusion of Hg-o, the entire waste mass acts as a source. We estimate that atmospheric Hg releases from municipal landfill operations in the state of Florida are on the order of 10-50 kg/yr, substantially larger than our original estimates, but still a small fraction of current overall anthropogenic losses.
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association
"Airborne emissions of mercury from municipal solid waste. I: New measurements from six operating landfills in Florida" (2005). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 5414.