Date of Award

Spring 4-16-2020

Semester of Degree


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental Science


Environmental Science, Division of

Major Professor

Timothy A. Volk

Steering Committee Member

Dr. Obste Therasme

Steering Committee Member

Dr. Mark Eisenbies


The establishment of the landfill covers consumes substantial amounts of fuels and materials that in turn contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and fuel depletion, the impacts of which are less explored. This study conducts lifecycle assessments of a willow ET cover, a conventional clay cover and a geosynthetic cover for Solvay settling basins to assess their global warming impact (GWI) and fossil fuel depletion (FFD) for 30 years at Camillus, NY. The study suggests that willow ET is a carbon negative system with the total GWI of -13,206 kgCO2eq ha-1 , while the clay (194,916 kgCO2eq ha-1) and geosynthetic scenarios (260,212 kgCO2eq ha-1) have large positive carbon impacts. Similarly, for FFD, the impact of willow ET cover (75,303 MJ Surplus ha-1) is the lowest and is 4.7 times lower than the clay cover and 7.7 times lower than the geosynthetic cover. Sensitivity and uncertainty analyses indicated that in all scenarios the GWI of the willow ET cover was less than zero and the GWI of the geosynthetic cover was greater than the clay covers.