Experimental studies on pore size change of porous ceramic membranes after modification

Y.S. Lin, A.J. Burggraaf

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Experimental results on pore size change of a microfiltration (MF) -alumina membrane and an ultrafiltration (UF) γ-alumina membrane after modification by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of solid oxides in the membrane pores are presented and explained using the results of a theoretical analysis. With an approx. 10-fold reduction in permeability, the average pore size of the MF membrane is found to increase after CVD modification, due to its relatively broader initial pore size distribution with a small amount of large pores and due to the particular CVD conditions (heterogeneous deposition mechanism) which give a pore narrowing rate independent of pore size. The effective pore size of the UF membrane appears to remain unchanged after modification with an approx. 50-fold reduction in permeability, as a result of the slit-shaped pores of the γ-alumina film and the particular modification conditions. The experimental and theoretical results suggest that, in order to reduce effectively the average pore size of a membrane by a modification process, the membrane should have a rather uniform pore size distribution, or the modification process should be conducted under conditions which give a pore narrowing rate proportional to the pore size.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-82
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of membrane science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Ceramic membranes
  • Gas separation
  • Membrane preparation and structure
  • Membrane modification
  • Pore size change


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