Effect of trace amounts of water on organic solvent transport through y-alunima membranes with varying pore sizes

Sankhanilay Roy Chowdhury, Klaas Keizer, Johan E. ten Elshof, David H.A. Blank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The transport behavior of toluene and n-hexane in -alumina membranes with different pore diameters was studied. It was shown that the permeability of water-lean hexane and toluene is in agreement with Darcy's law down to membrane pore diameters of 3.5 nm. The presence of molar water fractions of 5-8·10-4 in these solvents led to a permeability decrease of the -alumina layer by a factor of 2-4 depending on pore size. In general, a lower permeability was found for hexane than for toluene. Moreover, in the presence of water a minimum applied pressure of 0.5-1.5 bar was required to induce net liquid flow through the membrane. These phenomena were interpreted in terms of capillary condensation of water in membrane pores with a size below a certain critical diameter. This is thought to lead to substantial blocking of these pores for transport, so that the effective tortuosity of the membrane for transport of hydrophobic solvents increases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4548-4552
Number of pages5
JournalLangmuir
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • IR-47727
  • METIS-218573

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