Emissions of air-borne mercury from five municipal solid waste landfills in Guiyang and Wuhan, China
- 1State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, 550002, China
- 2Cebam Analytical, Inc., 18804 North Creek Parkway, Suite 110, Bothell, WA 98011, USA
Abstract. China disposes of bulk Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) by landfilling, resulting in a large quantity of mercury that enters landfills through waste. A detailed study on atmospheric mercury emissions from MSW landfills in China is necessary to understand mercury behavior from this source. Between 2003 and 2006, mercury airborne emissions through different pathways, as well as mercury speciation in Landfill Gas (LFG) were measured at 5 MSW landfills in Guiyang and Wuhan, China. The results showed that mercury content in the substrate increased the magnitude of mercury emissions, with the highest emission rate measured at the working face and in uncovered waste areas, and the lowest measured near soil covers and vegetated areas. Meteorological parameters, especially solar radiation, influenced the diurnal pattern of mercury surface-air emissions. Total Gaseous Mercury (TGM) in LFG varied from 2.0 to 1406.0 ng m−3, Monomethyl Mercury (MMHg) and Dimethyl Mercury (DMHg) in LFG averaged at 1.93 and 9.21 ng m−3, and accounted for 0.51% and 1.79% of the TGM in the LFG, respectively. Total mercury emitted from the five landfills ranged from 17 to 3300 g yr−1, with the highest from the working face, then soil covering, and finally the vent pipes.