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PhytoVaLix: Phytotraitement de lixiviats générés par des LETs (lieux d'enfouissement techniques) et valorisation des lixiviats via l'exploitation de la biomasse végétale produite

The treatment of leachate generated by landfills represents a high potential market in Quebec. A total of 39 technical landfills (LETs), with a landfill capacity of more than 122 million m3 of solid wastes, are currently operating in Quebec. Conventional LET leachate treatment technologies require high capital (several M $) and operating (10-30 $/m3) costs and do not recover leachate resources. Willow constructed wetlands (WCW) and short-rotation willow coppice (SRWC) represent economic, sustainable and "green" alternatives for the treatment and resource recovery of LET leachate. It is proposed to develop a completely innovative solution for the treatment of leachates by willow based systems. The WCW process to be developed will address the treatment of concentrated leachate generated by young landfill cells, while the SRWC process will target the treatment of older cell leachate and the polishing of WCW effluents. These phytotechnologies, which integrate the action of plants, substrate and microorganisms, will be tested at the LET of Sainte-Sophie, operated by our partner Waste Management. This site, covering more than 140 hectares, is one of the largest LETs in Quebec. The proposed project is divided into three experimental streams. A first experiment (stream 1), carried out under controlled conditions in the Spring of 2018, will aim to determine the maximum leachate loading applicable to the SRWC process under different operational conditions. Based on its conclusions, a second experiment (stream 2) will be carried out at pilot scale under in-situ conditions, to determine the design and operating criteria of the SRWC for the treatment of LET leachates and to evaluate the impact of leachate irrigation on the "soil-plant-soil microbial community" bioreactor as well as on the potential for valorization of the biomass produced. Specific attention will be paid to the nature and concentration of phenolic compounds in woody biomass. The objective of the third experiment (stream 3) is to determine, under field conditions, the design and operating criteria, including appropriate pre-treatment, of MFS for the treatment of concentrated leachate from young landfill cells.In the long term, the two processes to be developed could prove to be the chosen solution for a market estimated at several tens of millions of dollars in Quebec. These processes, which are based on a circular economy concept, are likely to create a flow of added value by the development of leachate treatment and resource recovery processes that could feed several sectors of the Quebec "green" economy.

Yves Comeau

CRIBIQ's contribution

$ 419 485


Industrial participants :

  • Waste Management
  • AgroÉnergie

*Quebec public research institutes :