Preparation and characterization of aluminum hollow fiber membranes

Polymeric hollow fiber membranes have been investigated for a long time for, for example, their outstanding surface to volume ratio. However, inorganic hollow fiber membranes received less attention. Within the Inorganic Membrane group a method has been developed to efficiently and effectively produce porous thin inorganic hollow fiber membranes (iPHF).

In the past, a method based on dry-wet-spinning is proven suitable for the fabrication of steel, alumina and nickel inorganic hollow fiber membranes. An example is given in Figure 1. The final properties of the fiber depend strongly on each and every step in the fabrication process. For instance, during spinning the composition of the polymer mixture, the nature of the particles, and the spinning conditions will strongly affect the shape, composition, and morphology of the fiber. The thermal treatment will also have a strong impact on the mechanical strength, the pore size and distribution and the surface chemistry of the fiber.

Within this bachelor assignment, the main goal is to investigate the possibility of making aluminum hollow fiber membranes. Such a light-weight fiber has interesting properties given by the nature of the aluminum. A native oxide layer, which acts as a passivation layer, will be present on these fibers giving them a surface comparable to often user aluminum oxide membranes. The project will comprise all phases of the membrane development process, including the dry-wet spinning, the thermal treatment and characterization of the final fiber. Based on the students' interest, the assignment can be tailored more towards a specific step of the production process (e.g. the thermal treatment or performance testing).

For further information, contact:

Emiel Kappert

Postdoc
Meander 236

+31 53 489 2859
Email: e.j.kappert@utwente.nl

Nieck Benes

Professor
Meander 329

+31 53 489 4288
Email: n.e.benes@tnw.utwente.nl