The ideal instrument for the online or portable measurement of siloxane levels in biogas

The presence of siloxanes has become a significant problem for the biogas generation industry. These compounds, present in landfill and food waste streams, deposit as silicon crystals on energy generation equipment. This can be seriously detrimental to their performance, or lead to complete breakdowns, with expensive downtime.

SiloxMeasurement of siloxanes in a complex biogas matrix has been a significant challenge for the industry. As very low trace concentrations are already a problem. Therefore, an analytical system  is needed to address this problem, which is capable of measuring these compounds at very low levels.

IMS is an ideal technique for this applications, and the IMSPEX/GAS team have developed the GC-IMS-SILOXTM instrument, which is the ideal analytical solution for this purpose. 

Main features of the system:

  • Capable of measuring separately the concentrations of L2, L3, L4, L5, D3, D4, D5 and D6, as well as providing accurate total siloxane and total silica levels, which can be transferred to a Control Room via analogue output
  • Very low detection limit, in the low ppb level for each individual siloxane, with detection ranges from 0.1 ppm to 5ppm for the individual siloxanes
  • Can be used online, fully automatically, acquiring a data point every 15 min (or 60 min if D6 concentration is needed)
  • Can also be used as a portable system capable of taking readings at different sites. Stable and ready to measure within a few minutes, and extremely easy to use
  • Very reproducible results, with measurement tolerance +/- 10% at span
  • Capable of automatic 1 point calibration which allows it to run continuously without a need for calibration site visits
  • Very robust and designed to withstand biogas generation environments

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Online monitoring of siloxanes – Gas to Grid

The GC-IMS-SILOXTM is capable of the low levels of detection required by grid operators. With limits of detection on the low ppb range, gas producers can prove that their gas does not contain siloxanes above low ppb levels and that therefore falls well within regulatory and manufacturer specifications.

Calibration curves for the individual siloxanes L2, L3, L4, D3, D4 and D5
Calibration curves for the individual siloxanes L2, L3, L4, D3, D4 and D5

Online monitoring of siloxanes – Filter Breakthrough

Placed online post-filter, this instrument is ideal to determine filter breakthrough as early as possible, therefore allowing operators to optimize the replacement or regeneration of their filters and other cleaning media, saving on expensive early replacements or too frequent regeneration.

Online monitoring of siloxanes – Biogas characterization

Placed online pre-filter, the GC-IMS-SILOXTM has the resolution and sensitivity to allow producers to understand the siloxane profile of their biogas, quantifying individual siloxane presence in their matrix prior to cleaning. This makes it an ideal technical solution to evaluate the efficiency of different cleaning media and to understand their biogas generation process.

Portable measurements of siloxanes

The instrument is very portable and can be easily carried in a vehicle. Once on site, measurements can be taken within a few minutes with very little preparation. The instrument is therefore ideal for service engineers who may be responsible for a number of sites, who can take the instrument on board and generate results in real time, in situ.

Measuring other VOCs

GC-IMS is an analytical technique ideal for the identification of quantification of Volatile Organic Compounds in gas matrixes. Our instrument therefore has the potential to identify and measure other VOCs in addition to siloxanes, and our technical team can prepare instruments to address your analytical needs.

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Technology Gas Chromatography – Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS)
Ionisation ß-radiation source (Tritium (3H))
Activity 300 MBq, below the exemption limit of 1 GBq,
EURATOM guideline
Drift voltage polarity Positive and negative, switchable
Sampling Automatic GC headspace injector
Detection limit Low ppbv
Dynamic range 1-4 orders of magnitude
Display 6.4″ TFT, VGA-Display



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