Preparation and characterization of hydrophobic alumina planar membranes for water desalination

Chunlei Ren, Hong Fang, Jianqiang Gu, Louis Winnubst, Chusheng Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


A planar alumina membrane was prepared by a one-step phase-inversion tape casting method. The membrane consisted of a thick support layer with finger-like large pores and a thin separation layer containing small pores with an average diameter of ~0.76μm. The overall porosity of the membrane was ~59%, as determined with the Archimedes method, and the porosity associated with the large, finger-like pores in the support layer was ~34% as derived from image analysis. The surface of this alumina membrane was converted from hydrophilic to hydrophobic via grafting with a fluoroalkylsilane. The water desalination performance was tested by exposing the hydrophobic separation layer to an aqueous solution of 2wt.% NaCl at 80°C, while a sweep of distilled water at 20°C was used, resulting in a water flux of 19.1Lm-2h-1 and a salt rejection over 99.5%. Due to the excellent water desalination performance, the hydrophobic porous ceramic membrane holds promise for practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-730
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Alumina
  • Hydrophobicity
  • Membrane distillation
  • Phase-inversion tape casting
  • Surface grafting
  • 2023 OA procedure


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