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Landfill Gas Monitoring Systems - Overview of Landfill Gas Monitoring

 3.1 Overview of Landfill Gas Monitoring

 In general, monitoring of gases that emanate from landfills falls into the following five categories (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2001):

  • Soil gas monitoring
  • Near surface gas monitoring
  • Emissions monitoring
  • Ambient air monitoring
  • Indoor air monitoring

Table 5 presents a brief overview of each type of monitoring. For each type of monitoring activities, there are many gas sampling approaches and monitoring techniques, and unfortunately not all of them can be covered in this report. Some monitoring methods can be used to more than one monitoring activity. However, all the monitoring techniques can be classified from the following four aspects:

  • Location of monitors (Subsurface, Surface, and Enclosed Space)
  • Portable / Stationary sampling equipment

Portable monitors: Usually hand-held instrument that can be easily carried around a landfill, which can be used to find the source of methane leaks.

Stationary monitors: are installed at a fixed location, to monitor gas during a time period. Usually can get higher quality data than portable monitors.

  • Grab sampling / Continuous monitoring

Grab sampling: A one-time measurement at specific location and time.

Continuous monitoring: Monitoring during a duration of time, through which we can see the changes over a time period.

  • Analysis of samples in the laboratory / analysis in the field

In the lab: expensive but more accurate.

In the field: more convevient.

Different monitoring methods should be selected for different landfills, considering site conditions, monitoring concerns, financial costs, regulatory requirements and other factors.


 Table 5. Types of gas monitoring methods (source: ATSDR, 2001)

 Table 5


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