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Evaluating and Selecting Global Siloxane Removal Technologies for a Californian Regional Treatment Facility

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Siloxanes are chemicals used extensively in industrial, personal care, and food products that enter wastewater treatment plants. In the digestion process, siloxanes volatilize into the digester gas and form glass-like silicone dioxide deposits during combustion that causes damage in generator engines, boilers, and microturbines. Siloxane removal technology may be broken down into two classifications: adsorption/absorption by activated carbon or molecular sieves and condensation via refrigeration. There are US, Canadian, and European manufacturers who have commercialized packaged systems of the various siloxane removal technologies. Treatment options for Inland Empire Utilities Agency's Regional Plant No. 1 were developed based on a combination of the siloxane removal technologies with a business case evaluation performed on each option to determine the best overall value. Moisture removal on the low pressure or high pressure sides of gas compressors was also evaluated. The most cost-effective option was refrigeration with activated carbon and low pressure moisture removal.
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Keywords: activated carbon; business case evaluation; digester gas; moisture; operation and maintenance; reciprocating engines; refrigeration; siloxanes; technology comparison

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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