Research Output

Moisture retention and conductivity properties of waste refuse: a laboratory study.

  The modelling of infiltration and moisture movement within a porous medium
requires information on the moisture retention and hydraulic conductivity properties.
In this study, the unsaturated hydraulic behaviour of a compacted waste sample based
on the composition of Lyndhurst Landfill site in Melbourne, Australia was
investigated in laboratory. Two fundamental aim of the study were to establish the
moisture retention characteristics of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) sample and
measure its unsaturated hydraulic conductivity.
In landfilled waste, the particle and pore size distribution, heterogeneity of waste
composition and leachate chemistry complicate the determination of moisture
retention and hydraulic conductivity. In this study the modification and use of a
standard pressure plate apparatus was described which can be used establish moisture
retention properties of samples of 230 mm in diameter. The experiments showed that
the moisture retention characteristics of compacted waste sample were comparable to
soils. It has been shown that water retention in waste is a function of its position
relative to the phreatic surface, in other words, its hydraulic boundary conditions
which will vary with elevation. Some difficulties and limitations of using this method
were discussed.
As with conventional inert soils, laboratory determination of unsaturated hydraulic
conductivity is difficult and recourse is often made to analytical methods as those
presented by van Genuchten (1980). One aim of this study was to compare the
unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of MSW obtained using Passioura' s (1976) onestep
outflow test method with predictions using van Genuchten's model. Good agreement is observed between the predictive model and experimental method for
unsaturated hydraulic conductivities at low moisture contents but there is poor
agreement at high degrees of saturation. This latter discrepancy is attributed to the
difficulty of measuring retention properties of large pores at low suctions and the
applicability of the van Genuchten model to such a material. Results also suggest that
dual porosity exists within waste.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 November 2006

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    628 Sanitary & municipal engineering


Kazimoglu, Y. K. Moisture retention and conductivity properties of waste refuse: a laboratory study. (Thesis)


Moisture retention; waste refuse; unsaturated hydraulic conductivity; landfill waste; inert soil;

Monthly Views:

Available Documents