Siloxanes are non- toxic silicon bearing organic compounds that are used in cosmetics such as skin creams, shampoos, hair care products and deodorants, to name just a few. Silicone substances make the formulas for these products much softer, giving a better spread and improved texture & feel. Silicones mostly have names that end in -cone or -siloxane. Some examples are dimethicone, cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane.
Why are Siloxanes becoming a problem?
Because of their continually increasing abundance in personal products, the presence of siloxanes is also an increasing component in the mix of chemicals we put into our solid waste or pour down our drains.
As their use becomes more widespread, their concentration is gradually building in our landfills and digesters; they are volatile compounds that evaporate and migrate out with the landfill and digester gases to be combusted either harmlessly in a flare, or harmfully inside internal combustion equipment.
When methane and other hydrocarbons burn, all the combustion products are gases that exhaust easily from the system. Silicon bearing organic compounds burn as well, but the combustion product of silicon is very fine crystalline silica, better known in its granular form as sand.
Silica can cause damage to internal combustion engines and reduce the efficiency of turbines as it builds up on their surfaces. Replacement engines and turbines, whilst being more efficient, are less able to withstand the extra drain on their efficiencies compared with their older variants.
The monitoring of siloxane levels and its removal is now therefore becoming a priority and owners of internal combustion equipment used to generate electricity from gas would have very good economic reasons to consider investing in a dedicated siloxane monitoring and removal system.
How can we help?
Drallim, representing Qualvista in the UK, can supply their Biogas Monitoring System, which not only monitors Siloxane, but can also be used for (CH4) monitoring and Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) Monitoring in landfill gas monitoring and water sludge monitoring applications.
Furthermore, it has been used in collaboration with siloxane purification systems as confirmation of the performance of such systems; operators are prompted to replenish their filter media when the gas removal efficiency drops off.
- Fully automated monitoring system requires no user intervention or expertise (very low opex)
- Extended lifecycle of gas engines, turbines or fuel cells
- Fewer breakdowns in production
- Optimized maintenance intervals and purification media changes
- Comprehensive gas composition info
- Gas quality control
- Regulatory compliance
- Better process control with continuous monitoring
- Information for process optimization
- Valuable information on purification media development and testing