One of the challenges to be confronted during landfill operations is the handling of leachate with high ammonium content. Current biological ammonium removal processes either are complicated and difficult to operate, or not cost-effective. Low-cost and lowmaintenance onsite systems for the treatment of landfill leachate with high ammonium content are in need, especially for landfills located in low population areas where landfills are smaller and often far from a wastewater-treatment plant and lack trained personnel.

The objective of this study is to compare onsite biological and physicochemical systems for the treatment of landfill leachate with high ammonium content. Laboratory-scale anaerobic ammonium oxidation (ANAMMOX) and magnesium ammonium phosphate (MAP) precipitation systems were evaluated in this research. Organic and ammonium removal efficiency for leachate collected from landfills in Northwest Florida was compared for the ANAMMOX and MAP precipitation processes. It was discovered that the initial ammonium content in the landfill leachate was a significant variable in ammonium removal for both cases. Through ANAMMOX treatment, up to 97% ammonium removal efficiency was achieved. By MAP precipitation without filtration, up to 80% of ammonium was removed. With filtration, up to 95% of ammonium was removed. Compared to the physicochemical system, the featured biological system removed ammonium from the landfill leachate more efficiently.

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