Our aim is to develop an automated leachate treatment system including a novel electrolytic cell that will be integrated into an automated system to treat leachate from landfill sites. It will be a mobile, modular unit that can be easily transported from site to site and used as required, and will have a small footprint that will enable its placement in areas where the larger solutions to landfill leachate are unable to be placed. The result will be a unit that can treat landfill leachate to the point where it complies with the regulations on wastewater discharge into municipal sewage systems. However, in order to achieve this objective, there are a number of limitations faced by existing technology that we must overcome:
- The energy requirements for some advanced oxidation processes, for example oxidation by ozone production, are very high. This means that current electrolysis methods would not be able to compete with the cost of using tanker transportation to remove the leachate from the landfill site and have it treated off-site.
- Current electrolytic water treatments have sometimes been shown to lead to the production of water soluble adsorbable organic halogens. The halogens can be also be removed by electrolysis, but this process takes time and is only completed once the organic components have been oxidised.
- There is no standard landfill leachate, this means that every site will have different requirements and will produce leachate with varying degrees of contamination and pollution profile.