Silica-based hybrid membranes for molecular separations: Hydrothermal stability & permselectivity

Master Assignment

Molecular Separation by using membranes has proven to be one of the most energy efficient routes to separate gases and liquids on nano scale. The complexities arising in membrane fabrication on nano-scale offers new challenges for researchers.

This master assignment deals with the development of special membrane microstructures and their application on industrial scale. The assignment will be carried out at the Inorganic Membrane group at the University of Twente.

The focus of this research will be on the fabrication of ceramic hybrid membranes. The separation layer of these membranes will be fabricated by sol-gel chemistry starting from e.g. bis(trialkoxysilyl)alkanes. Several reaction parameters influence the characteristics and consequently the membrane properties. Other precursors and dopants will be investigated as well.

Hydrothermally stable hybrid membranes have been successfully fabricated starting from 1,2-bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane (BTESE) using ‘sol-gel chemistry’ (process scheme of a sol-gel process is given in the figure). The influence of several sol characteristics on membrane microstructure and properties is still unknown. The aim of assignment is to investigate the influence of process conditions (hydrolysis, condensation, reaction time, aging, calcination etc) on the properties and performance of membranes with tailor-made porosity.

The master assignment consists of preparing membranes of selected precursors via sol-gel chemistry. The membranes will be tested for their gas permeation and separation capacities. Relations between process parameters, sol characteristics, membrane structure, and membrane performance will be studied.

For further information, contact:

Louis Winnubst

Assistant Professor
Meander 348
+31 53 489 2994

Hammad Fayyaz Qureshi

PhD Student
Meander 212
+31 53 489 2068