Home Members Research Laboratory

News Pictures Teaching Publications

Development and Evaluation of Contaminant Removal Technologies for Landfill Gas Processing
PI: Prof. J. N. Kuhn (jnkuhn@usf.edu; 813 974 6498) &
co-PI: Prof. B. Joseph (bjoseph@usf.edu)
University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave ENB 118, Tampa FL 33620

Student Researchers: Nada Elsayed (PhD) and Tony Elwell (BS)

Sponsor: William W. Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management at the University of Florida

Research Description: Regardless of whether landfill gas (LFG) is being flared or converted to energy (electricity, compressed natural gas, or liquid hydrocarbon fuels), contaminant issues must be addressed to minimize emissions and increase equipment lifetimes. The common contaminants include halides, sulfides, and siloxanes and the economical and environmentally sound removal of these contaminants is an increasingly timely issue. The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate an effective scrubbing process for cleaning the LFG prior to further processing.

Scope of Work: The goals of this project are to develop and evaluate an effective scrubbing process for cleaning the LFG prior to further processing and to determine acceptable tolerances of certain downstream operations to certain contaminants. The long-term goal of this line of research is to provide an economically viable approach for meeting EPA regulations on landfill emissions. With this information, we will propose process improvements based on the parameters contributing to the high costs. The proposed effort leverages previous efforts on the demonstration of syngas production from LFG funded by the Hinkley Center and the Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC) as well as the design and application of selective FTS (production of diesel and jet fuel) funded by FESC.


Invited talk is given at the SWANA FL 2017 Summer Conference and Hinkley Center Colloquium on waste-to-energy. LINK


Scholarly works published through this funding:

Elwell, A.C., Elsayed, N.H., Kuhn, J.N., and Joseph, B., “Design and analysis of siloxanes removal by adsorption from landfill gas for waste-to-energy processes” accepted in Waste Management. (DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2017.12.021) LINK


Elsayed, N.H., Elwell, A.C., Joseph, B., and Kuhn, J.N., “Effect of silicon poisoning on catalytic dry reforming of simulated biogas”Applied Catalysis A: General 538 (2017) 157-164. (DOI: 10.1016/j.apcata.2017.03.024) LINK


Kuhn, J.N., Elwell, A.C., Elsayed, N.H., and Joseph, B. “Requirements, techniques, and costs for contaminant removal from landfill gas” Waste Management 63 (2017) 246-256. (DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2017.02.001) LINK


Elsayed, Nada "Catalytic Upgrading of Biogas to Fuels: Role of Reforming Temperature, Oxidation Feeds, and Contaminants" (2017). LINK



(L): Nada is with the USF COE Dean (Robert Bishop) during the award of a plaque for her USF GSS fellowship. (R) Tony is a junior Chemical Engineering student working on this project. He recently presented a poster on this project.


Technical Awareness Group (TAG):

Our first TAG meeting was held on April 13, 2016.

1st TAG meeting (links: audio and audio/video)

Our second TAG meeting was held on November 9, 2016.

2nd TAG meeting (links: audio and audio/video)


We thank the following people for being members of our TAG.

John Schert Director Hinkley Center
Tim Vinson
Research Coordinator Hinkley Center
Kelsi Oswald Director Pinellas County Department of Solid Waste
Ralph Hirshberg Principal Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.
Canan "Janan" Balaban Asst. Director Florida Energy Systems Consortium
Berrin Tansel Faculty FIU
Matt Yung Researcher Nat. Renewable Energy Lab
Devin Walker CEO T2C-Energy LLC
Tim Roberge CFO T2C-Energy LLC


Progress Reports:

First Quarter

Second Quarter

Third Quarter

Fourth Quarter

Fifth Quarter



Project supported in funding by William W. Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management at the University of Florida