Establishment of Energy Crops on Decommissioned Landfills; Exclusion of Biogas from the Plant Root Zone Using a Geosynthetic Clay Liner (GCL)

One of the principle drawbacks to the production of biofuels is the competition that is created with traditional food crops for land. The potential for decommissioned municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills to support energy crop production has been left largely uninvestigated in Canada and other parts of North America. One of the primary obstacles to the establishment of crops on MSW landfills is the presence of high concentrations of landfill biogas in the plant root zone. Total exclusion of these gases from the plant root zone may improve the ability of a landfill cover to support crop growth creating a suitable location for energy crop production while alleviating the competition with conventional agriculture. The internship with Niagara Waste Systems Ltd will investigate whether the use of a geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) can effectively exclude biogas from the plant root zone thus, positively contributing to the establishment of energy crops on an MSW landfill in southern Ontario.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Raymond McBride


Rachel Slessor


Niagara Waste Systems Ltd.


Resources and environmental management




University of Guelph



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