Emissions from baled municipal solid waste: I. Methodological approach for investigation of gaseous emissions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper presents a methodological approach for the study of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in air, emitted during storage of municipal solid waste in bales. Determination of VOCs was based on sampling with adsorbent tubes followed by automated analysis using on-line work-up with a thermal desorption unit directly connected to a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer. Using calculation algorithms and multidimensional statistical analysis of large amounts of data collected, the information was compressed and Visualized. The approach was applied to initial measurements of emissions of VOCs from 24 bales composed of municipal solid waste, each bale stored in a wooden box. These bales were produced using the two types of baling equipment available, resulting in cylindrical or rectangular bales, with different densities. Hundreds of different VOCs emitted from these bales sorted out into groups with different chemical structure. Differences in VOC concentrations in air were found between wastes stored in cylindrical or rectangular bales. For instance, it was found that the concentration of VOCs (relative to the concentration of toluene), in the first experiment after storing, for cylindrical bales with six layers of LDPE was 115 +/- 10 mu g m(-3), while for rectangular bales it was only 64 +/- 8 mu g m(-3). The procedure used for data interpretation suggested different degradation mechanisms in different types of bales. The use of multiple data interfaces, multidimensional statistics and automated chemical analysis methods are likely to be more and more common for waste companies and waste research in the near future. This is due to the interdisciplinary nature of the subject that relies heavily on various areas of science and information technology.


  • Diauddin R. Nammari
  • Marcia Marques
  • Lars Thorneby
  • William Hogland
  • Lennart Mathiasson
  • Lars Thörneby
  • Lennart Martensson
  • Marcia Marques
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Analytical Chemistry


  • scaling, multidimensional, methodology, baled waste, tenax, spectrometer, gas chromatograph-mass, volatile organic compounds, thermal desorption, pivot tables, databases, wmr 971-1
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
JournalWaste Management & Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Analytical Chemistry (S/LTH) (011001004)