Sevinc Sengor

Dallas, TX - Sevinç Şengör, assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at SMU-Lyle, has received funding from the City of Denton, Texas, to investigate enhanced methane generation at its landfill facility.  The two-year project, advancing a collaborative effort with Southern Methodist University, the City of Denton MSW Landfill Facility, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Environmental Laboratory, is designed to improve the conversion of solid waste compounds to methane gas, while maintaining maximum performance of microbial reactions for waste degradation.

“Great universities solve real world problems in their community,” said Lyle Dean Marc P. Christensen, “We are pleased that Professor Sevinç Şengör is able to support the City of Denton in this important endeavor, bringing her research talent to bear on such a critical regional issue.”

The City of Denton Landfill at ECO-W.E.R.C.S. is a Type 1 landfill receiving municipal solid waste (MSW), where a portion of the waste is recycled, composted and converted to energy. The current capacity of the electric generator at the facility is 1.6 megawatts, powering the equivalent of approximately 1,600 homes per year. Landfill gas, the natural by-product of the microbial decomposition of the solid waste in landfills, is comprised primarily of carbon dioxide and methane. The goal of this investigation is to maximize methane production at this facility.

“Our study will emphasize the incorporation of a biopolymer salt and/or concentrate within a pilot bioreactor landfill to be constructed at the Denton site, noted Dr. Şengör, principal investigator. “The biopolymer film, when amended with landfill soils, will maintain maximum moisture content within the soils, significantly enhancing carbon and nutrient uptake efficiency of the microbial species, resulting in higher efficiency of solid waste conversion to methane gas. By focusing on extensive experimental analysis of key biological and chemical reactions, we can determine the optimum percentage of biopolymer loading.”

An expert in environmental microbiology and multi- component multi-phase reactive transport modeling, Dr. Şengör has worked and published extensively on microbial growth kinetics, modeling microbial metabolism in low energy yielding environments, and the coupling of kinetic reactions with multi-phase reactive transport. 

She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in environmental engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and her Ph.D. in water resources from the University of California, Davis. 

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SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

About the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering
SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 29 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees.