Home Members Research Laboratory

News Pictures Teaching Publications


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 ENG030, Tampa FL 33620

Student Researchers: Rarosue Amaraibi (PhD) and Seth Williams (BS)

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

Research Description: Landfill gas (LFG) is increasingly used and researched as a feedstock for a variety of traditional and proposed Waste-to-Energy (WTE) technologies, which includes electricity generation, compressed natural gas, or liquid hydrocarbon fuels. In these various scenarios, contaminants in the LFG can have substantial economic and environmental consequences in the WTE processes. Specifically, siloxanes are an emerging component in many consumer products that are landfilled and have a high enough vapor pressure such that a substantial amount is contained in the LFG. Siloxanes decompose to silica causing equipment damage that results in process downtime and reoccurring maintenance costs. To accelerate adoption of WTE processes, a desire for more economical methods for removing siloxanes from LFG exists. The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate two candidate ‘low cost’ options for removing siloxanes from LFG. A major cost in many LFG cleanup processes is the cost of the adsorbent. First, we will evaluate a natural zeolite (clinoptilolite), which can be purchased for as low as ~$100/ton, as compared to activated carbon that is factors of 3+ more expensive, as an adsorbent. This natural zeolite will be evaluated on the performance, in terms of capacity, selectivity, regeneration ability, and stability, and compared to activated carbon. Secondly, taking advantage of the siloxanes inclination to undergo thermal degradation, low cost/waste inorganic materials will be evaluated as catalytic adsorbents to capture only the silicon/silica of the siloxanes. An advantage of this approach is that the siloxanes permanently change phases into one that will remain trapped. The performances of these materials will be evaluated in terms of capacity and longevity. In both cases, the experimental results will be used to conduct a techno-economic feasibility study that can be compared to our previous results using activated carbon as the adsorbent. The proposed effort leverages previous and ongoing research and development of WTE processes, including LFG to diesel fuel through catalytic processes, contaminant removal from LFG, and economic and environmental impact from WTE technologies, which have been funded by the Hinkley Center, Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC), Department of Energy, VentureWell, NASA/FSGC, and T2C-Energy, LLC.



Technical Awareness Group (TAG):

The first TAG meeting occurred on Wednesday March 4, 2020. Here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/bWuNFECMvTg

The second TAG meeting was held in January 2021. Here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/eABSEdbEDt


Proposed TAG members

John Schert


Hinkley Center

Wester W. Henderson

Research Coordinator III

Hinkley Center

Devin Walker



Matt Yung


Nat. Renewable Energy Lab

Richard K Meyers

SWRS Program Manager

Broward County Solid Waste and Recycling Services

Ron Beladi


Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

Rebecca Rodriguez

Engineer Manager II

Lee County Solid Waste Division

Linda Monroy

Project Manager Associate

Lee County Solid Waste Division

Sam Levin



Tony Elwell

Staff Engineer I

HSW Engineering, Inc

Nada Elsayed

Scientist, PD

Catalent Pharma Solutions Inc

Yolanda Daza

Process TD Engineer

Intel Corporation

James Flynt

Chief Engineer 

Orange County Utilities Department 

Gita Iranipour

Engineer Associate

Hillsborough County Public Utilities Department

Luke Mulford

Water Quality Manager

Hillsborough County Public Utilities Department

Ray Oates

Solid Waste Compliance Manager

Citrus County Division of Solid Waste Management



We thank the members of our TAG for their service and input.


Progress Reports:

First Quarter - LINK

Second Quarter - LINK

Third Quarter - LINK

Fourth Quarter - LINK



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