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High-flux ceramic membranes with a nanomesh of metal oxide nanofibers

Ke, Xuebin, Zheng, Zhan Feng, Liu, Hongwei, Zhu, Huai Yong, Gao, Xue Ping, Zhang, Li Xiong, Xu, Nan Ping, Wang, Huanting, Zhao, Hui Jun, Shi, Jeffrey, & Ratinac, Kyle R. (2008) High-flux ceramic membranes with a nanomesh of metal oxide nanofibers. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 112(16), pp. 5000-5006.

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Abstract

Traditional ceramic separation membranes, which are fabricated by applying colloidal suspensions of metal hydroxides to porous supports, tend to suffer from pinholes and cracks that seriously affect their quality. Other intrinsic problems for these membranes include dramatic losses of flux when the pore sizes are reduced to enhance selectivity and dead-end pores that make no contribution to filtration. In this work, we propose a new strategy for addressing these problems by constructing a hierarchically structured separation layer on a porous substrate using large titanate nanofibers and smaller boehmite nanofibers. The nanofibers are able to divide large voids into smaller ones without forming dead-end pores and with the minimum reduction of the total void volume. The separation layer of nanofibers has a porosity of over 70% of its volume, whereas the separation layer in conventional ceramic membranes has a porosity below 36% and inevitably includes dead-end pores that make no contribution to the flux. This radical change in membrane texture greatly enhances membrane performance. The resulting membranes were able to filter out 95.3% of 60-nm particles from a 0.01 wt % latex while maintaining a relatively high flux of between 800 and 1000 L/m2·h, under a low driving pressure (20 kPa). Such flow rates are orders of magnitude greater than those of conventional membranes with equal selectivity. Moreover, the flux was stable at approximately 800 L/m2·h with a selectivity of more than 95%, even after six repeated runs of filtration and calcination. Use of different supports, either porous glass or porous alumina, had no substantial effect on the performance of the membranes; thus, it is possible to construct the membranes from a variety of supports without compromising functionality. The Darcy equation satisfactorily describes the correlation between the filtration flux and the structural parameters of the new membranes. The assembly of nanofiber meshes to combine high flux with excellent selectivity is an exciting new direction in membrane fabrication.

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19 citations in Scopus
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15 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 28764
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This article is freely available from the American Chemical Society website 12 months after the publication date. See links to publisher website in this record.
Keywords: Ceramic Membrane, Metal Oxide Nanofiber, Separation Layer, Filtration Flux
DOI: 10.1021/jp709837r
ISSN: 1520-6106
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY (INCL. STRUCTURAL) (030600)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY (030100) > Separation Science (030108)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > MACROMOLECULAR AND MATERIALS CHEMISTRY (030300) > Synthesis of Materials (030306)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > MACROMOLECULAR AND MATERIALS CHEMISTRY (030300) > Nanochemistry and Supramolecular Chemistry (030302)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 American Chemical Society
Deposited On: 07 Jan 2010 08:23
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2013 12:47

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