Siloxane Removal Off Landfill Gas Using Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma


Reference #: 01437

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for Siloxane Removal off Landfill Gas Using Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma


U.S. regulations have set a target of generating 25% of the energy from renewable sources by 2025, which is also a prime motivation of using LFG (Landfill Gas) as an alternative energy source. However, LFG usage is hindered due to the presence of even trace siloxane(s) as contaminants. Siloxane compounds are detrimental to engines if these undergo combustion within a fuel mixture. Over extended periods of combustion, VOSCs dissociate to form silicon oxides, which deposit on engine components such as crankshaft, cylinder-piston, and compressor blades and subsequently contributing towards erosion, seizing and reduction of the overall efficiency of engines. Besides adversely affecting the structure and performance of internal combustion engines, the presence of siloxane has also been reported to foul catalytic converters and degrade electrodes of fuel cells. Siloxanes constitute a group of low molecular weight volatile organosilicon (VOSC) polymers, which have a widespread application in pharmaceutical, medical, cosmetic, and food production with a market size estimated to exceed 19 billion dollars by the end of 2017 with North America being among the top three consumers.

Invention Description:

The device can remove siloxane pollutants from a stream of career gas, which, in the laboratory case was helium. The dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) system is employed to reform/remove organosilicon contaminants off a carrier stream and its overall effectiveness is assessed. The system gives the opportunity of designing a sustainable end of technology way of siloxane removal that will ensure siloxane does not reenter and generate useful end products.

Potential Applications:

Due to their potential toxic effects on the environment and health, siloxanes have been under investigation. Siloxanes have now become a completely different source of concern for industries providing alternative energy sources such as LFGTE (landfill gas to energy) projects. A significant portion of siloxane-containing product is deposited in landfill sites, which are the source for LFG. 

Advantages and Benefits:

All existing methods of removing siloxanes eventually end up in the waste cycle after the designated lifetimes. In our system, the siloxane is removed from the career gas by chemical conversion to PDMS, which itself has a commercial market. Furthermore, DBD systems are conventionally robust with only the electrical connections or the mechanical integrity of the material of construction contributing to risk/safety factors. Thus, this system has a long-time viability.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Siloxane Removal Off Landfill Gas Using Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Utility United States 17/032,123   9/25/2020     Filed
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Tanvir Farouk
Shamia Hoque
Malik Tahiyat
dielectric barrier discharge
landfill gas
nonequilibrium plasma
volatile organosilicate
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