Contaminant Mobility through Landfill Liner Systems

Location: Macleod, VIC

Duration: 5 months

Proposed start date: ASAP

Keywords: Diffusion Modelling, Contaminant Migration, Waste Chemistry, Landfill Design

Please note: Due to funding requirements, students must be enrolled as a PhD student at an Australian University. Any applicants not meeting this requirement will be ineligible for this project

Project Background

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria regulates the siting, design, operation and rehabilitation of landfills as well as setting the waste acceptance criteria. The type and quantity of waste accepted will change between landfills as will the landfill siting, design, operation and rehabilitation leading to a complex system.

EPA Victoria needs to better understand the link between the waste accepted into a landfill and whether the landfill will suitably contain the waste over its operational and post-closure lifetime. The POLLUTE7 software has been used to model the migration of select contaminants through typical Victorian landfill liner systems.

We are seeking a candidate with a background in diffusion modelling—specific experience with POLLUTE7 would be well regarded. In addition, the candidate should have experience in waste chemistry and landfill design. This work will be conducted in collaboration with EPA’s waste and landfill technical staff.

Research to be Conducted

The key research questions to be answered by this research project are:

  • What is the relationship between landfill acceptance criteria and the respective landfill liner system?
  • Is the current approach for the derivation of landfill waste acceptance criteria still relevant and if not, what might be an alternative methodology?
  • How do the landfill management requirements impact on the success of the landfill liner system to suitably contain the waste?

The POLLUTE7 software will be used to model different scenarios, test key parameter sensitivity and compare outputs to actual landfill data.

Skills Required

  • Experienced in diffusion modelling, specific experience with POLLUTE7 would be well regarded.
  • Understanding of Victorian landfill systems and waste chemistry.
  • Proficient in critically evaluating scientific literature and translating technical information into plain language.
  • Demonstrated ability in delivery of collaborative projects with clear and targeted outcomes.
  • Experience in geochemistry would be advantageous but not essential.

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes from the project are:

  • A review of various international approaches to the determination of landfill waste acceptance criteria based on landfill liner system.
  • Numeric modelling of scenarios for the Victorian standard landfill designs including individual contaminants and mixtures under different operational and management conditions.
  • A conceptual methodology(ies) for the derivation of landfill waste acceptance criteria based on the associated landfill liner system.
  • A project report and associated journal article suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

20 February 2019


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