A mathematical model for the degradation of the organic fraction of solid waste in landfills, by means of an anaerobic bacterial population, is proposed. Additional phenomena, like hydrolysis of insoluble substrate and biomass decay, are taken into account. The evolution of the system is monitored by controlling the effects of leachate recirculation on the hydrolytic process. We investigate the optimal strategies to minimize substrate concentration and recirculation operation costs. Analytical and numerical results are presented and discussed for linear and quadratic cost functionals.
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