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Volume 2018, Article ID 1039453, 10 pages
Review Article

Treatment of Landfill Leachate Using Activated Sludge Technology: A Review

1School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Shandong Jianzhu University, Jinan 250101, China
2Qingdao Xin Bei De Environmental Technology Co. Ltd., Qingdao 266000, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Kai Wang; nc.ude.uzjds@iakgnaw and Daoji Wu; nc.ude.uzjds@jdw

Received 4 May 2018; Revised 21 July 2018; Accepted 13 August 2018; Published 4 September 2018

Academic Editor: Jin Li

Copyright © 2018 Kai Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Landfill leachate contains a large amount of organic matter and ammoniacal nitrogen. As such, it has become a complex and difficult issue within the water treatment industry. The activated sludge process has been found to be a good solution with low processing costs and is now therefore the core process for leachate treatment, especially for nitrogen removal. This paper describes the characteristics and treatment of leachate. Treatment of leachate using the activated sludge process includes the removal of organic matter, ammoniacal nitrogen, and total nitrogen (TN). The core method for the removal of organic matter involves anaerobic treatment supplemented with an aerobic process. Ammoniacal nitrogen is commonly removed using a conventional aerobic treatment, and advanced TN removal is achieved using endogenous denitrification or an anaerobic ammonium oxidation (ANAMMOX) process. Since biological processes are the most economical method for TN removal, a key issue is how to tap the full potential of the activated sludge process and improve TN removal from leachate. This complex issue has been identified as the focus of current scholars, as well as an important future direction for leachate research and development.