A finite difference computer program to aid in optimizing landfill cover design was developed by the authors. The program was used to compare the methane yield from sand-covered and clay-covered landfills equipped with methane recovery systems. The results of this comparison and a brief description of the finite difference program are presented in this paper. These results indicate that a clay cover can restrict air inflow into the landfill system, thus preventing oxygen poisoning of the methane-producing organisms. The practice of monitoring methane to air ratios in the pipelines of the recovery system in order to forewarn of oxygen infiltration into the fill material was shown to be ineffective in some situations. More reliable methods to forewarn of oxygen poisoning were suggested.

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