Toward a sustainable and cost-efficient biological-based platform for siloxanes removal

Celia Pascual, Raquel Lebrero, Sara Cantera*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Volatile methyl siloxanes (VMS) are persistent contaminants extensively used in industrial applications. Their presence in biogas constitutes a major hindrance for its energetic valorization or its use as renewable natural gas. Current commercial siloxanes abatement technologies are based on physical-chemical methods, whose good performance is impaired by their high investment costs, and a hefty environmental impact. Research evidences that VMS are indeed biodegradable, which opens the possibility of implementing bio-based technologies as a cost-effective and sustainable alternative for the removal of these compounds. This review uncovers the most plausible organisms and microbial pathways involved in biological VMS degradation, a relatively unexplored area. Additionally, the most commonly applied configurations and the main operating challenges are thoroughly revised and discussed, evidencing that a feasible implementation relies on the optimization and scale-up of enhanced mass transfer bioreactors. Finally, the techno-economic and environmental analysis demonstrate that, although in a very early stage, emerging biological technologies for siloxanes removal will play an important key role on the future abatement of VMS from waste gas streams such as raw biogas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-86
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number1
Early online date3 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023


  • Biodegradation VMS pathways
  • biological treatment
  • microbial siloxanes degradation
  • Robert Letcher and Charles Wong
  • siloxanes abatement
  • techno-economic analysis


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