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
selectivity >100 were successfully synthesized. In addition, the use of the silica precursor, DMDMOS, further improved the H2
permeance without compromising the H2
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.
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