The ability of municipal waste compost as a daily cover material to reduce the odorous emissions associated with landfill surfaces was investigated. Trials were carried out using landfill gas, a certified sulphurous gas mix and ambient air as a control. Odorous gas was passed through portable test column filled with compost at different densities (590 kg/m3 and 740 kg/m3). Gas samples were taken from the inlet, outlet and at varying column depths and examined using a combination of sensory analysis (olfactometry) and a novel analytical method (Transportable Selected Ion Flow Tube – TSIFT). Results for the trials using landfill gas showed a 69% odour reduction (OU/m3) through the column for compost with a bulk density of 590 kg/m3, and a reduction of 97% using compost with a bulk density of 740 kg/m3. TSIFT analysis showed an overall decrease in the concentration of terpenes, and sulphurous compounds in the outlet gas from the column for both bulk densities. No significant trend could be identified for the concentrations at different depths within the column. Results show the ability of compost to reduce landfill odours under differing conditions. The inconclusive data provided by TSIFT analysis may be due to the analysis of compounds that are not contributing to odour, and thus highlights the potential for synergetic effects and the importance of sensory measurement when examining odorous emissio
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