Presence of Siloxanes in Sewage Biogas and Their Impact on Its Energetic Valorization

  • N. de ArespacochagaEmail author
  • J. Raich-Montiu
  • M. Crest
  • J. L. Cortina
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 89)


Biogas produced in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) by microorganisms during the anaerobic degradation process of organic compounds is commonly used in energy production. Due to the increasing interest in renewable fuels, biogas has become a notable alternative to conventional fuels in the production of electricity and heat. Biomethane, upgraded from biogas, has also become an interesting alternative for vehicle fuel. Biogas contains mainly methane (from 40 to 60%) and carbon dioxide (40 to 55%), but it also contains trace compounds, such as hydrogen sulphide, halogenated compounds and volatile methyl siloxanes (VMS), which pose a risk on its energetic valorization.

It is reported that the concentrations of siloxanes in biogas are increasing in the recent years due to an increase in the use of silicon-containing compounds in personal care products, silicone oils and production of food, among others. This chapter reviews the presence of VMS in sewage biogas, depicting their concentrations and their speciation between linear and cyclic compounds depending on the wastewater treatment processes and operating conditions.

WWTP operators face therefore a choice between installing a gas purification equipment and controlling the problem with more frequent maintenance. Available technologies for siloxane removal are studied, and their impact on the performance of Energy Conversion Systems (ECS) is reported. The performance of adsorption systems using activated carbon, silica gel and zeolites is reviewed as it is a well-known and widespread used technology for siloxane abatement both at the scientific and industrial studies.


Biogas valorization Siloxanes benchmarking Siloxanes removal Wastewater treatment plants 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. de Arespacochaga
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Raich-Montiu
    • 1
  • M. Crest
    • 2
  • J. L. Cortina
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.CETaquaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.CIRSEE, Suez-EnvironnementLe PecqFrance
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya-Barcelona Tech (UPC)BarcelonaSpain

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