Odor mitigation and bacterial community dynamics in on-site biocovers at a sanitary landfill in South Korea

Jeonghee Yun, Hyekyeng Jung, Hee Wook Ryu, Kyung Cheol Oh, Jun Min Jeon, Kyung Suk Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Unpleasant odors emitted from landfills have been caused environmental and societal problems. For odor abatement, two pilot-scale biocovers were installed at a sanitary landfill site in South Korea. Biocovers PBC1 and PBC2 comprised a soil mixture with different ratios of earthworm casts as an inoculum source and were operated for 240 days. Their odor removal efficiencies were evaluated, and their bacterial community structures were characterized using pyrosequencing. In addition, the correlation between odor removability and bacterial community dynamics was assessed using network analysis. The removal efficiency of complex odor intensity in the two biocovers ranged from 81.1% to 97.8%. Removal efficiencies of sulfur-containing odors (hydrogen sulfide, methanethiol, dimethyl sulfide, and dimethyl disulfide), which contributed most to complex odor intensity, were greater than 91% in both biocovers. Despite the fluctuations in ambient temperature (−8.2 to 31.3 °C) and inlet complex odor intensity (10,000–42,748 of odor dilution ratio), biocovers PBC1 and PBC2 displayed stable deodorizing performance. A high ratio of earthworm casts as an inoculum source led to high odor removability during the first 25 days of operation, but different mixing ratios of earthworm casts did not significantly affect overall odor removability. A bacterial community analysis showed that Methylobacter, Arthrobacter, Acinetobacter, Rhodanobacter, and Pedobacter were the dominant genera in both biocovers. Network analysis results indicated that Steroidobacter, Cystobacter, Methylosarcina, Solirubrobacter, and Pseudoxanthomonas increased in relative abundance with time and were major contributors to odor removal, although these bacteria had a relatively low abundance compared to the overall bacterial community. These data contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between bacterial community dynamics and deodorizing performance in biocovers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-528
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Korea Ministry of Environment as a “Converging Technology Project ( 201500164003 ).”

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • Bacterial community
  • Deodorization
  • Landfill
  • Network analysis
  • On-site biocover


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