γ-alumina porous membranes without pinholes or cracks were prepared by the sol-gel process. The boehmite sol obtained from hydrolysation of aluminium isopropoxide was applied to the inner surface of a porous supporting tube by a dipping procedure. The effects of sol concentration and the repetition number of dipping-drying-firing procedure on the membrane performance were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller method in connection with the micro-structure of the membrane. Gas permeation measurements were also conducted. The gas permeation through the thin membranes is well explained by Knudsen's flow, indicating the pores are controlled finely and homogeneously.
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