Biochar could help stabilize landfill covers

Dr. Krishna Reddy and his team from the University of Illinois at Chicago has done extensive research on biochar in landfill covers to help reduce methane emissions. Now the question is: when biochar is added to soil, are the geotechnical properties (hydraulic conductivity, compressibility, and shear strength) of the biochar/soil mixture suitable for a landfill cover? After extensive testing, the research team discovered that biochar amendment increases soil hydraulic conductivity, decreases soil compressibility, and increases soil shear strength, all of which are desired geotechnical properties for stable landfill cover materials.


Download Reddy et al. (2015) publication


Reddy’s group is also involved with the Illinois Biochar Group (IBG), hosted by ISTC. Several of their previous research presentation videos or slides are available to watch or download in the IBG meeting archives and past events.


landfill cover - from top to bottom: 1 ft vegetative cover layer, 2 ft infiltration layer, geosynthetic drainage net (double sided), and 40 mil LLDPE geomembrane overing waste
Proposed final landfill cover design by Environmental Waste Solutions, LLC. (