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 Waste Containment and Remediation Technology  posted by  member7_php   on 2/28/2009  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Shanahan, Peter, 1.34 Waste Containment and Remediation Technology, Spring 2004. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 08 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Waste Containment and Remediation Technology

Spring 2004

Level A personal protective clothing and equipment for air monitoring and hazardous waste sampling.
EPA personnel wearing Level A personal protective clothing and equipment for air monitoring and hazardous waste sampling. (Image courtesy of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.)

Course Highlights

This course site features a complete set of lecture notes.

Course Description

1.34 focuses on the geotechnical aspects of hazardous waste management, with specific emphasis on the design of land-based waste containment structures and hazardous waste remediation. Topics include: introduction to hazardous waste, definition of hazardous waste, regulatory requirements, waste characteristics, geo-chemistry, and contaminant transport; the design and operation of waste containment structures, landfills, impoundments, and mine-waste disposal; the characterization and remediation of contaminated sites, the superfund law, preliminary site assessment, site investigation techniques, and remediation technologies; and monitoring requirements.



Dr. Peter Shanahan


The course covers two topic areas:

  • Investigation and remediation of contaminated sites
  • Design and construction of waste-disposal sites

The course emphasizes the practical engineering aspects of these topics, but also covers theoretical aspects of mass transport in the subsurface and how it is important to these topics.


Home-Work 30%
Take-Home Mid-term Exam 25%
Final Exam 25%
Design Problem 20%

You can complete an optional paper to substitute for one exam grade but you must take all exams.

Regular attendance and class participation will be considered in assigning final grades.

Collaboration on homework is permitted — please list your collaborators.


Please complete the reading before each lecture. Some parts of the reading are labeled "skim" in the syllabus below. My goal for you is to be familiar with these documents and their general contents.

You are requested to read a book for the final lecture: Harr, Jonathan. A Civil Action. New York: Random House, 1995.

If you have not taken course 1.72, Ground Water Hydrology, you should review basic principles of the subject. Please see me for suggested reading.


Fetter, C. W. Contaminant Hydrogeology. 2nd ed. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, 1999.
An excellent reference on contaminants in ground water.

Qian, X. , R. M. Koerner, and D. H. Gray. Geotechnical Aspects of Landfill Design and Construction. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, 2002.
Comprehensive technical reference on landfills.

McBean, E. A. , F. A. Rovers, and G. J. Farquhar. Solid Waste Landfill Engineering and Design. New Jersey: Prentice Hall PTR, Upper Saddle River, 1995.
Although not quite as good a reference as Qian et al., 2002, this is also a good reference and a bargain in a paperback edition available from the Barnes and Noble web site.

Daniel, D. E. Geotechnical Practice for Waste Disposal. London: Chapman and Hall, 1993.
A comprehensive reference that was the course text in past years. It is a bit out of date on remediation technologies, but still a very good reference.


1 Introduction to Remediation Technology  
2 Hazardous Waste Regulations and Hazardous Materials  
3 Contaminant Transport Mechanisms and Principles  
4 Multi-phase Flow in Porous Media  
5 NAPL Fate and Transport Homework 1 due
6 Site Characterization  
7 Site Characterization (cont.) Homework 2 due
8 Remediation Principles: Source Control and Management of Migration Covers, Cut-off Walls, Solidification / Stabilization  
9 Pump-and-treat Systems  
10 Solvent Vapor Extraction, Air Sparging, Soil Flushing  
11 Funnel and Gate Systems, Permeable Treatment Walls Homework 3 due (counts double)
12 Bioremediation  
13 Natural Attenuation Homework 4 due
14 New Remediation Technologies
Technical Impracticability
Take home midterm handed out
15 Remedy Selection and Risk Assessment Take home midterm due
16 Introduction to Solid, Hazardous, and Radioactive Waste Disposal and Containment  
17 Design of Landfill Homework 5 due
18 Leachate and Gas Production in Landfill  
19 Landfill Hydrology Homework 6 due
20 Field Trip to Crapo Hill Landfill Homework 7 due
21 Compacted Soil Liners  
22 Synthetic Clay Liners and Geomembranes Design problem due
23 Landfill Construction QA, Monitoring, and Closure Take home final handed out
24 Brownfields Take home final due
25 Hazardous Waste Practice (Regulatory Practice, Expert Testimony, Risk Assessment)   Tell A Friend