Fluorescence of leachates from three contrasting landfills

Andrew Baker, M Curry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

235 Citations (Scopus)


Landfill leachates are composed of a complex mixture of degradation products including dissolved organic matter, which includes a wide range of potentially fluorescent organic molecules and compounds. Here we investigate the excitation-emission matrix fluorescence of landfill leachates from three contrasting landfill sites. Landfill fluorescence properties are all characterized by intense fluorescence at lambda(ex) =220-230nm, and lambda(em) =340-370nm which we suggest derives from fluorescent components of the Xenobiotic Organic Matter fraction such as naphthalene, as well as at lambda(ex) =320-360nm, and lambda(em) =400-470nm from a higher molecular weight fulvic-like fraction. Landfill leachates are characterized by intense fluorescence, with approximately 10(2) intensity units of fluorescence at lambda(ex)=220-230nm, and lambda(em)=340-370nmmg(-1) of total organic carbon, demonstrating leachate detection limits of
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2605-2613
Number of pages9
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • groundwater
  • landfill leachate
  • fluorescence
  • excitation-emission matrix


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