Composition and source identification of deposits forming in landfill gas (LFG) engines and effect of activated carbon treatment on deposit composition

J Environ Manage. 2013 Oct 15;128:300-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.05.029. Epub 2013 Jun 13.


Compositions of deposits forming on engines parts operated with landfill gas (LFG) were analyzed. The deposit compositions were compared before and after the installation of activated carbon system for treatment of LFG. Deposits forming on the spark plugs had significantly higher levels of calcium, chromium, and nickel in comparison to those forming on the engine heads. The LFG contained about 9.5 ± 0.4 mg/m(3) total siloxanes, majority of which were octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) (5.0 ± 0.2 mg/m(3)), decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) (2.9 ± 0.1 mg/m(3)) and hexamethyldisiloxane (L2) (1.6 ± 0.1 mg/m(3)). The samples collected from the engine heads before the activated carbon treatment of LFG had significantly high levels of silicon (149,400 ± 89,900 mg/kg) as well as calcium (70,840 ± 17,750 mg/kg), sulfur (42,500 ± 11,500 mg/kg), and zinc (22,300 ± 7200 mg/kg). After the activated carbon treatment, silicon levels decreased significantly; however, deposits had higher sulfur content (104,560 ± 68,100 mg/kg) indicating that the activated carbon released some sulfur during treatment. The analyses indicate that zinc and calcium originated from the additives in the lube oil while lead, aluminum, copper, nickel, iron, chromium were due to the engine wear.

Keywords: Activated carbon treatment; Combustion; Energy; Gas engines; Landfill gas; Motor oil; Siloxanes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biofuels* / analysis
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Charcoal
  • Siloxanes / analysis
  • Sulfur / analysis
  • Turkey
  • Waste Disposal Facilities / instrumentation*
  • Waste Management / methods
  • Zinc / analysis


  • Biofuels
  • Siloxanes
  • decamethylcyclopentasiloxane
  • Charcoal
  • Sulfur
  • octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane
  • Zinc
  • Calcium