Silica-based membranes prepared by chemical vapor deposition of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) on γ-alumina overlayers are known to be effective for hydrogen separation and are attractive for membrane reactor applications for hydrogen-producing reactions. In this study, the synthesis of the membranes was improved by simplifying the deposition of the intermediate γ-alumina layers and by using the precursor, dimethyldimethoxysilane (DMDMOS). In the placement of the γ-alumina layers, earlier work in our laboratory employed four to five dipping-calcining cycles of boehmite sol precursors to produce high H2 selectivities, but this took considerable time. In the present study, only two cycles were needed, even for a macro-porous support, through the use of finer boehmite precursor particle sizes. Using the simplified fabrication process, silica-alumina composite membranes with H2 permeance > 10−7 mol m−2 s−1 Pa−1 and H2 /N2 selectivity >100 were successfully synthesized. In addition, the use of the silica precursor, DMDMOS, further improved the H2 permeance without compromising the H2 /N2 selectivity. Pure DMDMOS membranes proved to be unstable against hydrothermal conditions, but the addition of aluminum tri-sec-butoxide (ATSB) improved the stability just like for conventional TEOS membranes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Filtration and Separation