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Waste of the composition shown in the following table is disposed of at a rate of 100,000
Mg/yr for 2 yr in one section of a landfill. Assume that half of the waste is disposed of at
= 0.5 time yr
, and half at a time of 1.5 yr. Assume that gas production follows the first-
order relationship used in Equation 13.4, and use the additional information provided in
the table. How long until 90 percent of the gas will be produced in this section?

Initial Mass (Mg) Half-life (years)

Solution:

k for slowly biodegrading = 0.693/10 = 0.0693 year
-1

k for rapidly biodegrading = 0.693/3 = 0.231 year
-1

Time to 90% decay for k for slowly biodegrading = Ln(0.1)/0.0693 = 33 years
Time to 90% decay for k for rapidly biodegrading = Ln(0.1)/0.231 = 10 years

13.10 Assume all the waste in one section of a landfill was added at the same time. After
5 yr, the gas production rate reached its peak. After 25 yr (20 yr after the peak), the
production rate had decreased to 10 percent of the peak rate. Assume first-order decay in
the gas production rate after reaching its peak. Assume no gas is produced prior to the
peak of 5 years. (a) What percentage of the total gas production do you predict has
occurred after 25 yr? (b) How long do you predict until 99 percent of the gas has been
produced?

Solution:

Peak rate = P =V !k !e
! k (5!t
lag
)
( )
10% Peak rate = 0.1P =V !k !e
! k (25!t
lag
)
( )
!P =
V !k !e
! k (25!t
lag
)
( )
0.1
V !k !e
! k (5!t
lag
)
( )
=
V !k !e
! k (25!t
lag
)
( )
0.1
! k(5!t
lag
)
( )
= ! k(25!t
lag
)
( )
!ln0.1
k = 0.115 year
!1

a) Since the production after peak follows first-order decay

0.115 25
5.65%
94.35%
kt
t o
o o
C C e
x C C e solve for x
x of the gas remained
so of the gas has been produced
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b) For 99% of the gas produced 1% of the gas is left
(0.115 )
0.01
40 99%
t
o o
C C e solve for t
t yr until of the gas is produced
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