Comparison of RNA- and DNA-based bacterial communities in a lab-scale methane-degrading biocover
Landfill gases could be vented through a layer of landfill cover soil that could serve as a biofilter to oxidize methane to carbon dioxide and water. Properly managed landfill cover soil layers may reduce atmospheric CH4 emissions from landfills. In the present study, the effects of earthworm cast and powdered activated carbon (PAC) on the CH4 removal capacity of the landfill cover soil was investigated. For this purpose, column and batch tests were conducted using three different materials: typical landfill cover soil, landfill cover soil amended with earthworm cast, and landfill cover soil amended with PAC. The maximum CH4 removal rate of the columns filled with landfill cover soil amended with earthworm cast was 14.6mol m(-2)d(-1), whereas that of the columns filled with typical landfill cover soil was 7.4mol m(-2)d(-1). This result shows that amendment with earthworm cast could stimulate the CH4-oxidizing capacity of landfill cover soil. The CH4 removal rate of the columns filled with landfill cover soil amended with PAC also showed the same removal rate, but the vertical profile of gas concentrations in the columns and the methanotrophic population measured in the microbial assay suggested that the decrease of CH4 concentration in the columns is mainly due to sorption. Based on the results from this study, amendment of landfill cover soil with earthworm cast and PAC could improve its CH4 removal capacity and thus achieve a major reduction in atmospheric CH4 emission as compared with the same landfill cover soil without any amendment.