Civil and Environmental Engineering


First Advisor

Dr. Bruce Dvorak

Second Advisor

Dr. Ashraf Aly Hassan

Date of this Version



Cohen, Gabriel. "Concentration and Treatment of Odors Generated by Landfills." Environmental Engineering Theses, Dissertations, and Student Research.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Environmental Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professors Bruce Dvorak and Ashraf Aly Hassan. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2020

Copyright © 2020 Gabriel Cohen


Landfills produce hydrogen sulfide (H2S), an odorous compound that can be a nuisance and danger to public. Biological treatment, in particular bio-trickling filters, is a method for controlling H2S emissions but startup costs can be costly. The goal of this study is to provide a low-cost method for improving environmental air quality in Nebraska through an odor control device. This study determined that the Loup Central Landfill located near Elba, NE would be an adequate site for the testing and implementation of the odor control device. The off-gas of the Loup Central Landfill was tested for its H2S concentration, volumetric flow rate, and temperature. In addition to the analysis of the off-gas of the Loup Central Landfill, properties of the leachate and leachate collection system were analyzed. The Loup Central Landfill was determined to be in an unsteady methanogenic phase. The second goal of the study was to create a preliminary design for the odor control device. The odor control device consists of three parts: collection, concentration, and biological treatment. The collection is a vacuum pump that connects to the leachate collection system of the Loup Central Landfill allowing for the extraction of gas. The concentration step is meant to provide the biological treatment method with a higher concentration of H2S at lower volumetric flow rate than provided by the landfill. The concentration step will occur through the adsorption and desorption of H2S onto activated carbon. This will lower the cost and size of the biological treatment. Biological treatment will be accomplished using a bio-trickling filter to degrade the H2S produced by the landfill. The odor control device will be constructed and implemented in 2021. The odor control device has the potential to implemented at other locations and industries such as wastewater plants and municipal sewers.

Advisors: Ashraf Aly Hassan and Bruce Dvorak