Skip to main content

RISE Program Spotlight: Eli Kays

Throughout the summer, several CCEE students are taking part in our Research Internship Summer Experience (RISE) program, conducting research while being mentored by faculty, post-doctoral fellows and advanced graduate students. Eli Kays is an environmental engineering student working with Dr. Morton Barlaz to research abiotic cellulose hydrolysis under landfill conditions. They are testing the impact of temperature and pH on the abiotic hydrolysis of chemical pulp (copy paper) and mechanical pulp (newspaper) in landfill leachate. The difference between chemical pulp and mechanical pulp is that mechanical pulp contains some lignin as well as cellulose, which could affect the hydrolysis of the cellulose. The project will help to better describe and quantify mechanisms of heat accumulation in landfills.