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The University of Southampton

Dr Tristan Rees-White BSc Hons, MSc, PhD, FGS

Research Fellow

Dr Tristan Rees-White's photo

Dr Tristan Rees-White is a Research Fellow within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Tristan Rees-White was awarded a PhD from the University of Southampton through his research into landfill dewatering systems in 2007. Prior to this, after completing a Master’s degree in Geology at the University of Wales Cardiff, he was employed as an engineer for Veolia Environmental Services Ltd, overseeing the construction and maintenance of leachate management systems.

His research at the University of Southampton has focused on techniques to reduce the contaminant load from legacy landfill sites and, more recently, the measurement and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from landfill.

Tristan worked as a full-time researcher within the EPSRC-funded ‘Science and Strategies for the long-term management and remediation of landfills’ project, and the current EPSRC  ‘Quantifying macroscopic flow and transport in the unsaturated zone to address the long-term contaminant burden of waste repositories’ project. He has designed and carried out large-scale experiments and tracer tests at the laboratory and field scale, at sites across the UK and in Europe, investigating the effectiveness of contaminant removal through flushing.

His current research also includes the development of fugitive methane gas emission monitoring in the UK using the tracer dispersion method. He has carried out more than 30 whole-site emissions measurements at operational and historic landfill sites for the Environment Agency, defra and the Woodland Trust.

Other research areas have included those into the aerobic treatment of wastes and landfill gas augmentation.

He is a member of the University of Southampton’s Waste Management Research Group and a Fellow of the Geological Society.

BSc (Hons), Cheltenham College of Higher Education, 1997

MSc, University of Wales, Cardiff, 2000

PhD, University of Southampton, 2007

Research interests

Tristan’s research interests lie in designing and carrying out laboratory and field based tracer tests which help to determine the variables that may affect the efficiency and success of contaminant flushing in landfill.

Tristan has also been key in the development of landfill fugitive methane gas emission monitoring in the UK using the tracer dispersion method. This has included research funded by defra, quantifying the variability in whole-site landfill methane emissions and the controlling factors behind variability; and the Woodland Trust, investigating the influence of woodland biocover on landfill gas emissions. determine contaminant transport properties of waste
Field tracer experiment
on a compressed waste sample to relpicate landfill conditions
Laboratory tracer experiment
at an old restored landfill
Contaminant flushing experiment

Research group

Infrastructure Group

Affiliate research group

Waste Management

Research project(s)

How do we reduce the length of landfill aftercare?

Landfill hydraulics

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The University of Southampton operate a sophisticated, state-of-the-art emissions monitoring service that can accurately measure and quantify whole-site fugitive methane emissions from landfill and other sources.

The measuring technique employed, termed the Tracer Dispersion Method (TDM), utilises gas tracers released at the emission source and a high-precision gas analyser to simultaneously measure airborne concentrations of the tracer gas and landfill gas. Measurements are carried out off-site, downwind of the landfill, independent of site operations, and are rapid and accurate enough to allow daily variations in emissions, perhaps due to operational, meteorological and seasonal changes, to be measured.

TDM has considerable advantages over flux-chamber monitoring, and surveys can be performed at a similar cost. Whole-site surveys are more rapid and have a higher accuracy and, as monitoring is carried out off-site, access is not required to all parts of the landfill.

The technique can be used to identify area hotspots, methane sources not from the landfill and, where present, used to evaluate gas capture efficiencies from flare stacks and power generation plants.

The technique can also be used to quantify emissions from:

- Gas Engines and Flares

- Water Treatment Works

- Composting Plants

- Anaerobic Digestion Plants

Tristan Rees White
Tristan Rees White
Dr Tristan Rees-White
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

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