Bio-chemical treatment of landfill leachates with high load of organic and nitrogen compounds

Ofir Zisman, Ariel Kushmaro, Asher Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research encompassed an 8-month investigation to evaluate the biological treatment of complex landfill leachates. The primary objectives were the removal of organic and nitrogen compounds, as well as the mitigation of H2S and VOC emissions. Biological treatment was conducted within a sequencing batch reactor (SBR), incorporating aerobic, anaerobic, and anoxic stages. The results indicate that biological treatment is indeed effective in eliminating biodegradable organic matter, with an average removal rate of 84.5% for BOD5, 42.7% for COD, and 40.9% for TOC. Nonetheless, it is imperative to integrate supplementary processes to enhance organic removal. It is worth noting that biological nitrification proved inadequate for sufficiently reducing elevated ammonia concentrations, achieving only a 23.2% reduction. In controlled laboratory conditions, the utilization of chemical precipitation, employing either MgO+H3PO4 or MgCl2.6 H2O+Na2HPO4.7 H2O in an equimolar ratio of Mg:NH4:PO4, exhibited substantial ammonia removal rates of 76.8 ± 6.4% and 80.7 ± 4.5%, respectively. Additionally, the incorporation of an anoxic stage in reactor operation demonstrated its effectiveness in achieving proficient denitrification, with an 80% removal rate for nitrates present in the raw leachates. These findings underscore the potential for optimizing the efficiency of biological leachate treatment processes through strategic modifications and the integration of additional treatment steps.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number100061
JournalSustainable Chemistry for the Environment
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • Biological treatment
  • Leachates
  • MSW landfill
  • Nitrogen compounds
  • SBR
  • Struvite

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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