Siloxanes in Chicago Air

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Project Period: 
Project Investigator(s): 
K. Hornbuckle, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Iowa
C. Stanier, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, The University of Iowa

Siloxanes are organo-silicon compounds found in many industrial and consumer products like cosmetics, deodorants, and water repellants. More than one million tons of individual siloxanes, including those targeted in this proposal, are produced or imported in the US each year. As a result of their widespread use, they are found in wastewater and solid waste. They make their way into the environment through volatilization, wastewater discharge, and emission of landfill gases. This one-year pilot project focuses on the development of analytical methods for three cyclic siloxane compounds in air samples: octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4); decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5); and dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (D6). The results will be used to develop a full-scale proposal for research on the emissions and transport of airborne siloxanes in Chicago and the surrounding Great Lakes.


Yucuis RA, Stanier CO, Hornbuckle KC; Cyclic Siloxanes in Air, Including Identification of High Levels in Chicago and Distinct Diurnal Variation. Chemosphere 2013; pii S0045-6535 (13) 00359-7.

Bzdek BR, Horan AJ, Pennington MR, Janechek NJ, Baek J, Stanier CO, Johnston MV. Silicon is a Frequent Component of Atmospheric Nanoparticles. Environ Sci Technol 2014; 48(19):11137-11145.