Final Report: Siloxane Removal from Biogas Using a Novel Drop-In TechnologyEPA Contract Number: EPD12020
Title: Siloxane Removal from Biogas Using a Novel Drop-In Technology
Investigators: Eberly, Daniel
Small Business: NEI Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: March 1, 2012 through August 31, 2012
Project Amount: $79,999
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2012) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Sustainabile Utilization of Biomass
Biogas from wastewater digesters and landfills is an emerging energy source for power generation. In a recent report from the California Energy Commission, in the year 2007, nearly 3,940 MW of power was generated from biogas. However, the efficiency and cost of energy production is hampered by impurities such as siloxanes, which are present in the biogas. During the combustion of biogas, siloxanes become abrasive microcrystalline silica particles and cause severe damage to gas engines. The primary objective of the research carried out during the Phase I program was to develop a nanomaterials-based drop-in technology that will significantly enhance the capacity of carbon-based materials to remove siloxane from the biogas from digesters and landfills.
The Phase I effort primarily involved synthesizing sorbents and determining their efficiency for siloxane removal. The sorbents were synthesized by surface modifying carbon-based materials. A protocol was developed to measure the concentration of siloxane in the liquid and gas phase, using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Key surface characteristics of the sorbents influencing siloxane adsorption were identified, and suitable sorbent characteristics were developed based on these findings. The surface-modified carbon-based sorbents showed two to five times better siloxane adsorption capacity, compared to commercial sorbents that are used for siloxane removal.