Surfactant-Assisted Fabrication of Alumina-Doped Amorphous Silica Nanofiltration Membranes with Enhanced Water Purification Performances.
ABSTRACT: Surfactant-templated 5 mol% Al2O3-doped silica membranes nanofiltration membranes were synthesized via the sol-gel method, and afterward, were optimized, and tested with respect to the permeability and rejection rate. The disordered silica network was stabilized by doping 5 mol% alumina. Tetraethyl orthosilicate and aluminum isopropoxide were used as the silica and alumina precursors, respectively. Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) was used not only as a pore-forming agent, but also to control the reaction rate of the aluminum isopropoxide, thus obtaining highly homogeneous materials. The results about filtration of model solutions showed that the optimized membranes are featured by both a relatively high water permeability (1.1-2.3 L·m-2·h-1 ·bar-1) and a high rejection for salts (74% for NaCl, and >95% for MgSO4 and Na2SO4) and organic pollutants (e.g., about 98% for caffeine). High rejection of divalent ions and organic molecules was also observed when a real wastewater effluent was filtered. The influence of the synthesis conditions on the membrane performance is discussed.
Project description:Microporous polymer frameworks have attracted considerable attention to make novel separation layers owing to their highly porous structure, high permeability, and excellent molecular separation. This study concerns the fabrication and properties of thin melamine-based microporous polymer networks with a layer thickness of around 400?nm, supported on an ?-alumina support and their potential use in organic solvent nanofiltration. The modified membranes show excellent solvent purification performances, such as n-heptane permeability as high as 9.2?L?m-2 ?h-1 ?bar -1 in combination with a very high rejection of approximately 99?% for organic dyes with molecular weight of ?457?Da. These values are higher than for the majority of the state-of-the-art membranes. The membranes further exhibit outstanding long-term operation stability. This work significantly expands the possibilities of using ceramic membranes in organic solvent nanofiltration.
Project description:Silica-based membranes prepared by chemical vapor deposition of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) on ?-alumina overlayers are known to be effective for hydrogen separation and are attractive for membrane reactor applications for hydrogen-producing reactions. In this study, the synthesis of the membranes was improved by simplifying the deposition of the intermediate ?-alumina layers and by using the precursor, dimethyldimethoxysilane (DMDMOS). In the placement of the ?-alumina layers, earlier work in our laboratory employed four to five dipping-calcining cycles of boehmite sol precursors to produce high H2 selectivities, but this took considerable time. In the present study, only two cycles were needed, even for a macro-porous support, through the use of finer boehmite precursor particle sizes. Using the simplified fabrication process, silica-alumina composite membranes with H2 permeance > 10-7 mol m-2 s-1 Pa-1 and H2/N2 selectivity >100 were successfully synthesized. In addition, the use of the silica precursor, DMDMOS, further improved the H2 permeance without compromising the H2/N2 selectivity. Pure DMDMOS membranes proved to be unstable against hydrothermal conditions, but the addition of aluminum tri-sec-butoxide (ATSB) improved the stability just like for conventional TEOS membranes.
Project description:Despite the widespread use of amorphous aluminosilicates (ASA) in various industrial catalysts, the nature of the interface between silica and alumina and the atomic structure of the catalytically active sites are still subject to debate. Here, by the use of dynamic nuclear polarization surface enhanced NMR spectroscopy (DNP SENS) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we show that on silica and alumina surfaces, molecular aluminum and silicon precursors are, respectively, preferentially grafted on sites that enable the formation of Al(IV) and Si(IV) interfacial sites. We also link the genesis of Brønsted acidity to the surface coverage of aluminum and silicon on silica and alumina, respectively.
Project description:In this work, we developed a novel strategy to synthesize porous (alumino)silicate materials using a single structure-directing agent composed of an imidazole unit with a hydrophobic tail, namely, 1,2-dimethyl-3-hexadecyl-1H-imidazol-3-ium bromide (C16dMImz). A wide range of products such as ordered mesoporous silicas, layered silica-alumina, and hierarchically porous mordenite zeolite were obtained by varying synthesis parameters such as temperature and aluminum concentration. By changing crystallization temperature, we could control the degree of silica condensation and tune the textural and morphological properties of the final materials. By varying the aluminum concentration in the gel, we can obtain mesoporous amorphous silica-alumina or crystalline mordenite zeolite with, respectively, weak and strong Brønsted acid sites. Obtained acidic silica-alumina materials displayed promising performance in catalytic reactions of linear paraffin hydroisomerization and Friedel-Crafts alkylation of benzene with benzyl alcohol.
Project description:The development of membrane-based technologies for the treatment of wastewater streams and resources containing heavy metal ions is in high demand. Among various technologies, nanofiltration (NF) membranes are attractive choices, and the continuous development of novel materials to improve the state-of-the-art NF membranes is highly desired. Here, we report on the synthesis of poly(homopiperazine-amide) thin-film composite (HTFC)-NF membranes, using homopiperazine (HP) as a monomer. The surface charge, hydrophilicity, morphology, cross-linking density, water permeation, solute rejection, and antifouling properties of the fabricated NF membranes were evaluated. The fabricated HTFC NF membranes demonstrated water permeability of 7.0 ± 0.3 L/(m2 h bar) and rejected Na2SO4, MgSO4, and NaCl with rejection values of 97.0 ± 0.6, 97.4 ± 0.5, and 23.3 ± 0.6%, respectively. The membranes exhibit high rejection values of 98.1 ± 0.3 and 96.3 ± 0.4% for Pb2+ and Cd2+ ions, respectively. The fouling experiment with humic acid followed by cross-flow washing of the membranes indicates that a flux recovery ratio (FRR) of 96.9 ± 0.4% can be obtained.
Project description:In the present study, porous alumina/silica materials were prepared by selective leaching of silicon/aluminum constituents from thermal-activated kaolinite in inorganic acid or alkali liquor. The correlations between the characteristics of the prepared porous materials and the dissolution properties of activated kaolinite were also investigated. The results show that the specific surface area (SSA) of porous alumina/silica increases with silica/alumina dissolution, but without marked change of the BJH pore size. Furthermore, change in pore volume is more dependent on activation temperature. The porous alumina and silica obtained from alkali leaching of kaolinite activated at 1150 °C for 15 min and acid leaching of kaolinite activated at 850 °C for 15 min are mesoporous, with SSAs, BJH pore sizes and pore volumes of 55.8 m²/g and 280.3 m²/g, 6.06 nm and 3.06 nm, 0.1455 mL/g and 0.1945 mL/g, respectively. According to the adsorption tests, porous alumina has superior adsorption capacities for Cu2+, Pb2+ and Cd2+ compared with porous silica and activated carbon. The maximum capacities of porous alumina for Cu2+, Pb2+ and Cd2+ are 134 mg/g, 183 mg/g and 195 mg/g, respectively, at 30 °C.
Project description:Membrane support properties influence the performance of thin-film composite nanofiltration membranes. We fabricated several polysulfone (PSf) supports. The physicochemical properties of PSf were altered by adding polyethylene glycol (PEG) of varying molecular weights (200⁻35,000 g/mol). This alteration facilitated the formation of a thin polyamide layer on the PSf surface during the interfacial polymerization reaction involving an aqueous solution of piperazine containing 4-aminobenzoic acid and an organic solution of trimesoyl chloride. Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared validated the presence of PEG in the membrane support. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy illustrated that the thin-film polyamide layer morphology transformed from a rough to a smooth surface. A cross-flow filtration test indicated that a thin-film composite polyamide membrane comprising a PSf support (TFC-PEG20k) with a low surface porosity, small pore size, and suitable hydrophilicity delivered the highest water flux and separation efficiency (J = 81.1 ± 6.4 L·m-2·h-1, RNa2SO4 = 91.1% ± 1.8%, and RNaCl = 35.7% ± 3.1% at 0.60 MPa). This membrane had a molecular weight cutoff of 292 g/mol and also a high rejection for negatively charged dyes. Therefore, a PSf support exhibiting suitable physicochemical properties endowed a thin-film composite polyamide membrane with high performance.
Project description:This study evaluated the effect of addition of alumina particles (polycrystalline or monocrystalline), with or without silica coating, on the optical and mechanical properties of a porcelain.Groups tested were: control (C), polycrystalline alumina (PA), polycrystalline alumina-silica (PAS), monocrystalline alumina (MA), monocrystalline alumina-silica (MAS). Polycrystalline alumina powder was synthesized using a polymeric precursor method; a commercially available monocrystalline alumina powder (sapphire) was acquired. Silica coating was obtained by immersing alumina powders in a tetraethylorthosilicate solution, followed by heat-treatment. Electrostatic stable suspension method was used to ensure homogenous dispersion of the alumina particles within the porcelain powder. The ceramic specimens were obtained by heat-pressing. Microstructure, translucency parameter, contrast ratio, opalescence index, porosity, biaxial flexural strength, roughness, and elastic constants were characterized.A better interaction between glass matrix and silica coated crystalline particles is suggested in some analyses, yet further investigation is needed to confirm it. The materials did not present significant differences in biaxial flexural strength, due to the presence of higher porosity in the groups with alumina addition. Elastic modulus was higher for MA and MAS groups. Also, these were the groups with optical qualities and roughness closer to control. The PA and PAS groups were considerably more opaque as well as rougher.Porcelains with addition of monocrystalline particles presented superior esthetic qualities compared to those with polycrystalline particles. In order to eliminate the porosity in the ceramic materials investigated herein, processing parameters need to be optimized as well as different glass frites should be tested.
Project description:Nanofiltration (NF) membranes with ultrahigh permeance and high rejection are highly beneficial for efficient desalination and wastewater treatment. Improving water permeance while maintaining the high rejection of state-of-the-art thin film composite (TFC) NF membranes remains a great challenge. Herein, we report the fabrication of a TFC NF membrane with a crumpled polyamide (PA) layer via interfacial polymerization on a single-walled carbon nanotubes/polyether sulfone composite support loaded with nanoparticles as a sacrificial templating material, using metal-organic framework nanoparticles (ZIF-8) as an example. The nanoparticles, which can be removed by water dissolution after interfacial polymerization, facilitate the formation of a rough PA active layer with crumpled nanostructure. The NF membrane obtained thereby exhibits high permeance up to 53.5?l?m-2h-1?bar-1 with a rejection above 95% for Na2SO4, yielding an overall desalination performance superior to state-of-the-art NF membranes reported so far. Our work provides a simple avenue to fabricate advanced PA NF membranes with outstanding performance.
Project description:A predictive model correlating the parameters in the mass transfer-based model Spiegler?Kedem to the pure water permeability is presented in this research, which helps to select porous polyamide membranes for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications. Using the experimentally obtained values of flux and rejection, the reflection coefficient ? and solute permeability Ps have been estimated as the mass transfer-based model parameters for individual ions in seawater. The reflection coefficient and solute permeability determined were correlated with the pure water permeability of a membrane, which is related to the structural parameters of a membrane. The novelty of this research is the development of a model that consolidates the various complex mechanisms in the mass transfer of ions through the membrane to an empirical correlation for a given feed concentration and membrane type. These correlations were later used to predict ion rejections of any polyamide membrane with a known pure water permeability and flux with seawater as a feed that aids in the selection of suitable nanofiltration (NF) for smart water production.