Biogas produced in most European countries by landfills and sewage-sludge digesters presents an excellent renewable source of energy for generating electricity. However, manufacturers and suppliers are often discouraged from using biogas in their combustion engines because it contains trace components such as halogenated hydrocarbons and organic silicon compounds which produce halogenated acids and silica. In the long run, they corrode the metallic surfaces of the engine, coat spark plugs, abrade the surfaces and disrupt valve operation.
An EU funded project highlights the negative effects involved and focused on the development of a method for measuring the quantity of harmful organic silicon compounds in the biogas. The aim of the project is to create a cooling process for removing those harmful substances and water from biogas before being used in gas engines.
At first, a series of the most common siloxane compounds in biogas are identified and examined. A polymer material fills the tubes marked with an internal standard. These tubes are then filled with a total of 10 litres of biogas. Once the harmful siloxanes are desorbed by elution. The tubes are then sent without delay to the laboratory. Six most common single siloxane substances will later be presented and calculated to give a sum of the total amount of siloxane found in biogas.
The project’s findings have been successfully presented in the Congress of the German Association of Chemists in Braunshweig in September 2002 and will be put forward in future scientific meetings.
Information Source: Result from the EU funded EESD programme
Collaboration Sought: Information exchange/Training
© European Communities.
Source: Cordis RTD - Offers of Environment (Offer ID: 1338), Issue 50 (Technology Marketplace - July, 2004.