Selective pervaporation of water through a non-selective microporous titania membrane by a dynamically induced molecular sieving mechanism

J. Sekulic, Johan E. ten Elshof, David H.A. Blank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Pervaporation experiments were performed on microporous titania membranes using several binary liquids containing 2-20 wt % water. The membrane was nonselective in the separation of water from alcohols and p-dioxane but showed a remarkably high selectivity in the separation of water from ethylene glycol/water mixtures with 15 mol % water. The absence of selectivity under most conditions is explained by the large pore size (0.9 nm) of microporous titania. The high selectivity for water in the separation from ethylene glycol can be explained by the formation of a hydrogen-bonded network of ethylene glycol in the micropores, which blocks transport of ethylene glycol, while water can still permeate through. These networks are disrupted by water at higher concentrations, leading to full loss of membrane selectivity.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)508-510
Number of pages3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • METIS-224333
  • IR-52656

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