Effect of Long-Term Sodium Hypochlorite Cleaning on Silicon Carbide Ultrafiltration Membranes Prepared via Low-Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition

Asif Jan*, Mingliang Chen, Michiel Nijboer, M.W.J. Luiten-Olieman, Luuk C. Rietveld, Sebastiaan G.J. Heijman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) is widely used for the chemical cleaning of fouled ultrafiltration (UF) membranes. Various studies performed on polymeric membranes demonstrate that long-term (>100 h) exposure to NaClO deteriorates the physicochemical properties of the membranes, leading to reduced performance and service life. However, the effect of NaClO cleaning on ceramic membranes, particularly the number of cleaning cycles they can undergo to alleviate irreversible fouling, remains poorly understood. Silicon carbide (SiC) membranes have garnered widespread attention for water and wastewater treatment, but their chemical stability in NaClO has not been studied. Low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LP-CVD) provides a simple and economical route to prepare/modify ceramic membranes. As such, LP-CVD facilitates the preparation of SiC membranes: (a) in a single step; and (b) at much lower temperatures (700–900 °C) in comparison with sol-gel methods (ca. 2000 °C). In this work, SiC ultrafiltration (UF) membranes were prepared via LP-CVD at two different deposition temperatures and pressures. Subsequently, their chemical stability in NaClO was investigated over 200 h of aging. Afterward, the properties and performance of as-prepared SiC UF membranes were evaluated before and after aging to determine the optimal deposition conditions. Our results indicate that the SiC UF membrane prepared via LP-CVD at 860 °C and 100 mTorr exhibited excellent resistance to NaClO aging, while the membrane prepared at 750 °C and 600 mTorr significantly deteriorated. These findings not only highlight a novel preparation route for SiC membranes in a single step via LP-CVD, but also provide new insights about the careful selection of LP-CVD conditions for SiC membranes to ensure their long-term performance and robustness under harsh chemical cleaning conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024


  • silicon carbide
  • ultrafiltration
  • low-pressure chemical vapor desposition
  • sodium hypochlorite
  • chemical aging


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