Silicon carbide (SiC) membranes have shown large potential for applications in water treatment. Being able to make these membranes in a hollow fiber geometry allows for higher surface-to-volume ratios. In this study, we present a thermal treatment procedure that is tuned to produce porous silicon carbide hollow fiber membranes with sufficient mechanical strength. Thermal treatments up to 1500 °C in either nitrogen or argon resulted in relatively strong fibers, that were still contaminated with residual carbon from the polymer binder. After treatment at a higher temperature of 1790 °C, the mechanical strength had decreased as a result of carbon removal, but after treatments at even higher temperature of 2075 °C the SiC-particles sinter together, resulting in fibers with mechanical strengths of 30–40 MPa and exceptionally high water permeabilities of 50,000 L m−2 h−1 bar−1. In this supplementary video we demonstrate the mechanical robustness and extreme clean water fluxes in a visual manner.
|Date made available||15 Dec 2014|
|Publisher||University of Twente|