Siloxanes in biogas from waste water treatment
The generation of electricity from waste water treatment is of increasing interest as a form of renewable energy to be used on site or sold to grid. However, siloxanes found in cosmetics, shampoos and a host of consumer products make their way into waste water and can cause considerable damage to power generation equipment. The problem can be exacerbated by the fact that silicones-based anti-foaming agents are frequently added to the digesters; these silicones sometimes biodegrade into siloxanes.
Siloxanes are organosilicon compounds and through the build-up of silicon dioxide (SiO2) created from combustion at burners, siloxanes coat turbine blades and heat exchangers and ultimately increases maintenance cost, gives lower energy outputs, and eventually causes failure. Therefore, the need for monitoring siloxane content of biogas is important.
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