Daisuke Gondo

Abstracts

2 Preparation of hydrophobic silica membranes supported on alumina hollow fibers for pervaporation applications

Authors: Sadao Araki, Daisuke Gondo, Hideki Yamamoto, Ami Okabe, Akira Ogawa, Yasuhisa Hasegawa, Koichi Sato

Abstract:

Membrane separation draws attention as the energy-saving technology. Pervaporation (PV) uses hydrophobic ceramic membranes to separate organic compounds from industrial wastewaters. PV makes it possible to separate organic compounds from azeotropic mixtures and from aqueous solutions. For the PV separation of low concentrations of organics from aqueous solutions, hydrophobic ceramic membranes are expected to have high separation performance compared with that of conventional hydrophilic membranes. Membrane separation performance is evaluated based on the pervaporation separation index (PSI), which depends on both the separation factor and the permeate flux. Ingenuity is required to increase the PSI such that the permeate flux increases without reducing the separation factor or to increase the separation factor without reducing the flux. A thin separation layer without defects and pinholes is required. In addition, it is known that the flux can be increased without reducing the separation factor by reducing the diffusion resistance of the membrane support. In a previous study, we prepared hydrophobic silica membranes by a molecular templating sol−gel method using cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) to form pores suitable for permitting the passage of organic compounds through the membrane. We separated low-concentration organics from aqueous solutions by PV using these membranes. In the present study, hydrophobic silica membranes were prepared on a porous alumina hollow fiber support that is thinner than the previously used alumina support. Ethyl acetate (EA) is used in large industrial quantities, so it was selected as the organic substance to be separated. Hydrophobic silica membranes were prepared by dip-coating porous alumina supports with a -alumina interlayer into a silica sol containing CTAB and vinyltrimethoxysilane (VTMS) as the silica precursor. Membrane thickness increases with the lifting speed of the sol in the dip-coating process. Different thicknesses of the γ-alumina layer were prepared by dip-coating the support into a boehmite sol at different lifting speeds (0.5, 1, 3, and 5 mm s-1). Silica layers were subsequently formed by dip-coating using an immersion time of 60 s and lifting speed of 1 mm s-1. PV measurements of the EA (5 wt.%)/water system were carried out using VTMS hydrophobic silica membranes prepared on -alumina layers of different thicknesses. Water and EA flux showed substantially constant value despite of the change of the lifting speed to form the γ-alumina interlayer. All prepared hydrophobic silica membranes showed the higher PSI compared with the hydrophobic membranes using the previous alumina support of hollow fiber.

Keywords: Pervaporation, hydrophobic, silica, membrane separation

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1 Organic Permeation Properties of Hydrophobic Silica Membranes with Different Functional Groups

Authors: Sadao Araki, Daisuke Gondo, Satoshi Imasaka, Hideki Yamamoto

Abstract:

The separation of organic compounds from aqueous solutions is a key technology for recycling valuable organic compounds and for the treatment of wastewater. The wastewater from chemical plants often contains organic compounds such as ethyl acetate (EA), methylethyl ketone (MEK) and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). In this study, we prepared hydrophobic silica membranes by a sol-gel method. We used phenyltrimethoxysilane (PhTMS), ethyltrimethoxysilan (ETMS), Propyltrimethoxysilane (PrTMS), N-butyltrimethoxysilane (BTMS), N-Hexyltrimethoxysilane (HTMS) as silica sources to introduce each functional groups on the membrane surface. Cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) was used as a molecular template to create suitable pore that enable the permeation of organic compounds. These membranes with five different functional groups were characterized by SEM, FT-IR, and permporometry. Thicknesses and pore diameters of silica layer for all membrane were about 1.0 μm and about 1 nm, respectively. In other words, functional groups had an insignificant effect on the membrane thicknesses and the formation of the pore by CTAB. We confirmed the effect of functional groups on the flux and separation factor for ethyl acetate (EA), methyl ethyl ketone, acetone and 1-butanol (1-BtOH) /water mixtures. All membranes showed a high flux for ethyl acetate compared with other compounds. In particular, the hydrophobic silica membrane prepared by using BTMS showed 0.75 kg m-2 h-1 of flux for EA. For all membranes, the fluxes of organic compounds showed the large values in the order corresponding to EA > MEK > acetone > 1-BtOH. On the other hand, carbon chain length of functional groups among ETMS, PrTMS, BTMS, PrTMS and HTMS did not have a major effect on the organic flux. Although we confirmed the relationship between organic fluxes and organic molecular diameters or fugacity of organic compounds, these factors had a low correlation with organic fluxes. It is considered that these factors affect the diffusivity. Generally, permeation through membranes is based on the diffusivity and solubility. Therefore, it is deemed that organic fluxes through these hydrophobic membranes are strongly influenced by solubility. We tried to estimate the organic fluxes by Hansen solubility parameter (HSP). HSP, which is based on the cohesion energy per molar volume and is composed of dispersion forces (δd), intermolecular dipole interactions (δp), and hydrogen-bonding interactions (δh), has recently attracted attention as a means for evaluating the resolution and aggregation behavior. Evaluation of solubility for two substances can be represented by using the Ra [(MPa)1/2] value, meaning the distance of HSPs for both of substances. A smaller Ra value means a higher solubility for each substance. On the other hand, it can be estimated that the substances with large Ra value show low solubility. We established the correlation equation, which was based on Ra, of organic flux at low concentrations of organic compounds and at 295-325 K.

Keywords: Membrane, hydrophobic, Hansen solubility parameter, functional group

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