Gas permeability of biochar-amended clay: Potential alternative landfill final cover material

Tsz Fung James WONG, Zhongkui CHEN, Wang Wai Charles NG, Ming Hung WONG

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Compacted biochar-amended clay (BAC) has been proposed as an alternative landfill final cover material in this study. Biochar has long been proposed to promote crop growth, mitigate odor emission, and promote methane oxidation in field soils. However, previous studies showed that soil-gas permeability was increased upon biochar application, which will promote landfill gas emission. The objective of the present study is to investigate the possibility of using compacted BAC as an alternative material in landfill final cover by evaluating its gas permeability. BAC samples were prepared by mixing 425-μm-sieved peanut shell biochar with kaolin clay in different ratios (0, 5, 10, and 15 %, w/w) and compacting at different degrees of compactions (DOC) (80, 85, and 90 %) with an optimum water content of 35 %. The gas permeability of the BACs was measured by flexible wall gas permeameter and the microstructure of the BACs was analyzed by SEM with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX). The results show that the effects of biochar content on BAC gas permeability is highly dependent on the DOC. At high DOC (90 %), the gas permeability of BAC decreases with increasing biochar content due to the combined effect of the clay aggregation and the inhibition of biochar in the gas flow. However, at low DOC (80 %), biochar incorporation has no effects on gas permeability because it no longer acts as a filling material to the retard gas flow. The results from the present study imply that compacted BAC can be used as an alternative final cover material with decreased gas permeability when compared with clay. Copyright © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7126-7131
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number8
Early online dateJun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Wong, J. T. F., Chen, Z., Ng, C. W. W., & Wong, M. H. (2016). Gas permeability of biochar-amended clay: Potential alternative landfill final cover material. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23(8), 7126-7131.


  • Landfill final cover
  • Biochar
  • Biochar-amended clay
  • Compacted soil cover
  • Gas permeability


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