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SCI colloid and surface chemistry group meeting: Transport of permanent and condensable gases in zeolite membranes

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PII: 0376-7388(96)00036-1 journal of MEMBRANE SCIENCE ELSEVIER Journal of Membrane Science 116 (1996) 161 - 169 Synthesis, characterisation and gas permeation studies on microporous silica and alumina-silica membranes for separation of propane and propylene Balagopal N. Nair l, Klaas Keizer, Wilma J. Elferink, Melis J. Gilde, Henk Verweij, Anthonie J. Burggraaf Inorganic Material Science, Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Twente, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands Received 21 August 1995; accepted 15 January 1996 Abstract Microporous silica membranes are known to exhibit molecular sieving effects. However, separation of nearly equal sized molecules is difficult to carry out by size exclusion. Introducing sorption selectivity and keeping the kinetics favourable to facilitate a good contribution of permeation from sorption is a possible solution to enhance selectivity of adsorbing molecules. Results are presented in this paper on the synthesis of a microporous silica membrane with commendable permselectivity between helium and propylene. Modifications are performed on the membrane to improve its almost non-selective nature to propylene/propane mixtures to give practical separation values. Gas separation results on the modified membranes are presented. Surface selectivity on the newly added alumina surface layer is identified as the helping mechanism in realising this separation. Keywords." Sol-gel process; Silica membrane; Gas separation; Surface selectivity; Microporous 1. Introduction The development of ceramic microporous mem- branes with good gas separation properties have been described in many recent articles [1-4]. Some of these membranes consisted of a porous support mod- ified with a silica microporous component by either the CVD or sol-gel technique. In the case of sol-gel modification [5-9] polymeric silica molecules are t Present address: Advanced Polymer Laboratory, Japan High Polymer Center, 22-13 Yanagibashi 2-Chome

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