High-performance hybrid pervaporation membranes with superior hydrothermal and acid stability

H.L. Castricum, Robert Kreiter, Henk M. van Veen, David H.A. Blank, Jaap F. Vente, Johan E. ten Elshof

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A new organic–inorganic hybrid membrane has been prepared with exceptional performance in dewatering applications. The only precursor used in the sol–gel synthesis of the selective layer was organically linked 1,2-bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane (BTESE). The microporous structure of this layer enables selective molecular sieving of small molecules from larger ones. In the dehydration of n-butanol with 5% of water, the membrane shows a high separation factor of over 4000 and ultra-fast water transport at a rate of more than 20 kg m−2 h−1 at 150 °C. This can be related to the high adsorption capacity of the material and the sub-micron thickness of the selective layer. The selectivity has now remained constant over almost one and a half years under continuous process testing conditions. Apart from the hydrothermal stability, the membrane exhibits a high tolerance for acid contamination. A slow performance decline in flux and separation factor is only observed at a pH lower than 2. The high stability and effective separation indicate a broad industrial application potential of the hybrid membrane material.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of membrane science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Pervaporation
  • Organic–inorganic hybrid
  • Hydrothermal stability
  • IR-78907
  • Microporous membrane
  • METIS-250721
  • Dewatering

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