282293 Effect of Siloxane Present in Renewable Natural Gas On the Operation of Various Natural Gas Equipment

Monday, October 29, 2012: 12:49 PM
325 (Convention Center )
Nitin Narayanan Nair1, Jorge Gutierrez2, Jack Chen2, Alireza Divsalar3, Arjun Vas4, Tongyu Zhao4, May Lew2, Fokion N. Egolfopoulos5 and Theodore Tsotsis1, (1)Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, (2)Southern California Gas Company, Los Angeles, CA, (3)Chemical Engineering, University of Southern California, CA, (4)Chemical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, (5)Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Effect of Siloxane Present in Renewable Natural Gas on the Operation of Various Natural Gas Equipment

N. N. Naira, J. Gutierrezc, J. Chenc, A. Divsalara, A. Vasa, T. Zhaoa, M. Lewc, F. N. Egolfopoulosb, T. T. Tsotsisa

aDepartment of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California, CA 90089, USA

bDepartment of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California, CA 90089, USA

c Engineering Analysis Center, ML SC723B, Southern California Gas Company

Abstract

The goal of this project is to systematically investigate, under well-controlled laboratory conditions, the operation of different appliances when using simulated renewable natural gas (RNG), particularly as it relates to the impact of siloxanes a key impurity found in such fuels. Two different devices were investigated, namely a small electric generator operating on RNG, and a typical household furnace. Both appliances have been operated for extended periods of time when using siloxane-containing RNG and their operation has been compared with similar appliances operating on conventional natural gas. The impact of the siloxane combustion (which results in solid components that tend to deposit and coat various surfaces) has been investigated in greater detail. It has been shown that the presence of siloxanes has a very detrimental impact on the life of the various sensors that are utilized to control the operation of such devices. The same is true with the impact on the operating life of catalyst beds which are connected to the devices in order to reduce the pollutants emitted. In addition to coating the various internal surfaces, silica microparticulates resulting from siloxane combustion find their way into the condensate (in the case of the furnace) and the spent oil (in the case of the engine). Studies are ongoing to identify the complete failure mode of these devices and the results will be presented at the meeting.

Keywords: Siloxanes, biomethane, biogas, renewable natural gas, SiO2 particles

ACKNOWLEDGMENT:

The support of the support of the Southern California Gas Company is gratefully acknowledged, as are many helpful discussions with Dr. Siari Sosa, Mr. Scott Kysar, and Mr. Gilbert Ching


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See more of this Session: Sustainable Fuel From Renewable Resources
See more of this Group/Topical: Environmental Division