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Harmless Food Additives and Cosmetics Are Destroying
Million Dollar Turbines

Northborough, MA (01-21-2011) - After you enjoy that quick microwave meal or fix your makeup, what you throw in the trash could end up costing you in higher electric bills. Once your waste makes it to the landfill, and someone converts that into biogas to burn at a nearby electric power plant, the damage from the Siloxane in your food and makeup could destroy the stainless steel turbine running the electric generators.

While this may seem far-fetched, in fact, through its association with Parker GES, the engineers at Sorensen Systems are all too familiar with the problems power plant operators are having with contaminated biogas in some of our more innovative electric plants. In the face of rising costs for petroleum based fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas, the idea of "cheap" biogas has taken hold for many plant operators seeking alternatives to imported fossil fuel.

Siloxane Contamination

So what exactly is happening here? Unlike natural gas, gases from landfills are saturated with moisture, and carry varying quantities of compounds that contain sulfur, chlorine, and silicon. You can see Siloxane in biogas in the form of a white powder in gas turbine hot section components. The white powder is primarily silicon dioxide, a product of Siloxane combustion. The problem is, that this Siloxane has been identified as responsible for turbine failures, which has caught the attention of power plant operators. Up to now, efficient and cost-effective removal of the contaminant has not existed. The new Siloxane Removal System addressed this issue.

The Siloxane Removal System developed by Parker's Green Energy Solutions (GES) has become popular with combustion turbine plant operators seeking ways to ameliorate the consequences of Siloxane contamination in the biogas fuel. The biogas generated in landfills and wastewater digesters contain Siloxane – a man-made chemical that changes into silicon dioxide (sand) when combusted. Imagine throwing sand into your car engine! That's what's happening here.

Parker GES Siloxane Removal System

When landfill and digester gas are used to fuel turbines, silicon dioxide build-up due to Siloxane significantly increases maintenance costs, reducing the feasibility of these important green energy projects. With the Parker GES Siloxane removal system, one tower adsorbs Siloxane using a specialized blended media and the other tower regenerates, exhausting the collected Siloxane to a flare or thermal oxidizer. In combination with advanced chilling systems and improved filtration, power plant operators have reason to believe that a solution exists for combating Siloxane contamination.

Sorensen Systems has been introducing the New England thermal power generation marketplace to the Siloxane Removal System as part of its growing entry in the maintenance and repair services for power plants. The company is a subsidiary of THG Corporation, based in Northborough MA, and is associated with The Hope Group and Hope Air Systems. For more information about the Parker GES Siloxane Removal System, contact Mark Ferland at



Siloxane Removal
Biogas generated in landfills and wastewater digesters contains siloxane; a man-made chemical that changes into silicon dioxide (sand) when combusted. Power Plant operators rely on the Parker GES Siloxane Removal Systems for removing Siloxane from the turbines before they are destroyed.


Landfill Biomass
The household and business waste that ends up in community landfills has become a source for cheap fuel in power plants, except that it is the source of Siloxane contamination which destroys turbines.


mwra-hydroelectric-plant-turbine-feature Sorensen Systems Design/Builds and Installs Innovative Hydroelectric Plant for MWRA


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Northborough, MA 01532

Phone: 508-393-7660

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