November 16, 2021

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Sarah Gustitus-Graham Coauthored a Paper on Using Geosynthetic Liners to contain CCR Leachate in the Geosynthetics Magazine

Sarah Gustitus-Graham, Ph.D., (Florida) coauthored a paper entitled "Using Bentonite-polymer Composite Geosynthetic Clay Liners to Contain CCR Leachates" in Geosynthetics Magazine on October 1, 2021.

Jiannan Chen was the lead author, and other coauthors were Yu Tan and Craig Benson

Sarah Gustitus-Graham is a Senior Staff Professional based in Tampa who focuses on solid waste management. She has a breadth of experience in landfill design, hydrologic and geotechnical investigations, bench-scale and modeling studies of liner and cover systems, landfill gas management, waste composition studies, and cost-benefit analysis. As a doctoral student, Sarah received a fellowship from the Environmental Research and Education Foundation, the leading institution in funding solid waste management research.

Geosynthetics Magazine features geosynthetic products, applications, and services for civil engineers, distributors, contractors, and developers. The magazine is the official publication of the Geosynthetic Materials Association of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). This association provides engineering support, business development opportunities, educational programming, government relations expertise, and industry recognition to its members.

The IFAI is a not-for-profit trade association comprised of member companies representing the international specialty fabrics marketplace. Member companies range in size from one-person shops to multinational corporations. Members' products cover the broad spectrum of specialty fabrics and include fibers, fabrics, end products, equipment and hardware.


Coal combustion residuals (CCRs) are the byproducts from combustion in coal-fired boilers that are disposed in lined landfills when they cannot be used beneficially in other applications. Land disposal of CCRs is regulated under the "coal ash rule" incorporated into Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The coal ash rule sets specific requirements for composite liners (made up of a geomembrane and compacted clay liner) used at coal ash disposal facilities. Geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) can be used in lieu of compacted clay liners provided that the GCL meets the equivalency criteria in the coal ash rule. This article evaluates seven commercially available bentonite-polymer geosynthetic clay liners against seven CCR leachates to gauge their performance.

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