Landfill Stabilisation and Completion under the Landfill Directive: Development of a User Interface for a Coupled Hydraulic-Biodegradation-Mechanical Model for the Analysis of Decompostable Materials
March 2006


Background to research

The behaviour and management of wastes deposited in landfill, be they municipal solid waste, mechanically biologically pre-treated waste or incinerator residues is dependent upon a mixture of hydraulic, biochemical and mechanical processes.

At field scale, these processes and their interdependence are poorly understood; at best, they are accounted for using highly empirical methods.

A coupled hydraulic-biodegradation-mechanical (HBM) model for the analysis of decomposable materials such as landfilled waste has been under development at Napier University.

Objectives of research

The research commissioned under UKW05 was to develop a Windows-based Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the HBM model and to provide supporting documentation, i.e. user manuals and a description of the theoretical basis of the model.

Key outcomes and recommendations

Graphical User Interface

A Graphical User Interface has been produced. The GUI communicates with the HBM model, through two main parts: a preprocessor and a postprocessor. On-screen help is available in both parts.

The preprocessor is a user-friendly environment in which to construct landfill simulations.Using Windows functionality, the pre-processor enables detailed site specific circumstances such as geometry, waste type, filling sequence and climatic circumstances to be defined. From here, all model input data files are prepared and the HBM model is run.

The postprocessor is a collection of graphical routines that are used to interpret output data. Hydraulic, biodegradation and mechanical data are presented as time series, spatial distribution, and combined space-time plots. Plots can be refined using Windows-based click-and-drag zoom or rescaling facilities and can be saved in a form appropriate for presentation or publication.

Supporting Documentation, Dissemination, Web Site

Supporting documentation comprises three manuals: User Manual, Examples Manual, and Theory Manual, all of which contained within this report. A web site has also been developed to maximise dissemination of, and feedback on, all research outputs,

The GUI and HBM need to be installed from an installation file, which can be downloaded from the web site or from the Research Contractor at the address above. Updated versions of the GUI, HBM model, and supporting documentation (either as manuals or onscreen help) will be posted to the website. All materials are freely available.


The next major phase in the development of the combined HBM-GUI will be a two part programme of validation. The first part will look at the impact of input parameters on the performance and output of HBM model. The second on user selection and range checking of input parameter values within the GUI.

Key words: Landfill; Waste; Hydraulic-Biodegradation-Mechanical Modelling; Graphical User Interface.

Copies of this report are available from the Foundation, in electronic format on CDRom at 20.00 + VAT or hard copy at 50.00, less 20% to FWR members.

N.B. The report is available for download from the SNIFFER Website