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Materials 2011, 4(5), 845-856; doi:10.3390/ma4040845

Preparation, Characterization and Performance of Templated Silica Membranes in Non-Osmotic Desalination

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University, VIC 3800, Australia
2
ARC Centre for Excellence in Functional Nanomaterials, The University of Queensland, Building 75, Cooper Rd, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
3
AIBN—Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanomaterials, The University of Queensland, Building 75, Cooper Rd, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
4
Films and Inorganic Membrane Laboratory, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 April 2011 / Revised: 18 April 2011 / Accepted: 28 April 2011 / Published: 2 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porous Materials 2011)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1043 KB, 3 May 2011; original version 3 May 2011]   |  

Abstract

In this work we investigate the potential of a polyethylene glycol-polypropylene glycol-polyethylene glycol, tri-block copolymer as a template for a hybrid carbon/silica membrane for use in the non-osmotic desalination of seawater. Silica samples were loaded with varying amounts of tri-block copolymer and calcined in a vacuum to carbonize the template and trap it within the silica matrix. The resultant xerogels were analyzed with FTIR, Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and N2 sorption techniques, wherein it was determined that template loadings of 10 and 20% produced silica networks with enhanced pore volumes and appropriately sized pores for desalination. Membranes were created via two different routes and tested with feed concentrations of 3, 10 and 35 ppk of NaCl at room temperature employing a transmembrane pressure drop of 85% (in most cases >95%) and fluxes higher than 1.6 kg m−2 h−1. Furthermore, the carbonized templated membranes displayed equal or improved performance compared to similarly prepared non-templated silica membranes, with the best results of a flux of 3.7 kg m−2 h−1 with 98.5% salt rejection capacity, exceeding previous literature reports. In addition, the templated silica membranes exhibited superior hydrostability demonstrating their potential for long-term operation. View Full-Text
Keywords: desalination; inorganic membranes; silica; carbonized templates; surfactants; salt rejection desalination; inorganic membranes; silica; carbonized templates; surfactants; salt rejection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ladewig, B.P.; Tan, Y.H.; Lin, C.X.C.; Ladewig, K.; Diniz da Costa, J.C.; Smart, S. Preparation, Characterization and Performance of Templated Silica Membranes in Non-Osmotic Desalination. Materials 2011, 4, 845-856.

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