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Organic silicone compounds are commonly used in the manufacturing of a wide range of household and commercial products. During the production, use, and disposal of these products, silicone compounds make their way into wastewater treatment facilities and landfills. Volatile methylsiloxanes (VMS) may then be released into the methane-rich biogases produced by the anaerobic digesters at wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) as well as in landfills. The biogas produced at these facilities can be collected and used to fuel turbine generators for the production of electrical energy. During the combustion process, the siloxanes are converted into silica particles that can damage expensive energy generating and air pollution control equipment. Cost-effective scrubbing systems are being developed for the purpose of removing VMSs from biogas prior to entering the turbine systems. The need to evaluate the performance of such scrubbing systems has led to increased interest in the development of more sensitive and convenient methods for the analysis of siloxanes in digester and landfill gas samples. We have developed a procedure that provides reproducible, low-level analyses of eight relevant siloxanes. This procedure utilizes the canister method for sample collection and analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/TOF-MS), giving detection limits on the order of 0.01 ppmv for all eight siloxanes. Quantitative analyses are routinely carried out over the range of 0.02 ppmv to 2 ppmv.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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