Next Article in Journal
Intelligent Membranes: Dream or Reality?
Next Article in Special Issue
Temperature and Pressure Effects of Desalination Using a MFI-Type Zeolite Membrane
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Successful Integration of Membrane Technologies in a Conventional Purification Process of Tannery Wastewater Streams
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Membranes 2013, 3(3), 136-150;

Performance and Long Term Stability of Mesoporous Silica Membranes for Desalination

FIMLab—Films and Inorganic Membrane Laboratory, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 June 2013 / Revised: 2 July 2013 / Accepted: 3 July 2013 / Published: 12 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes and Water Treatment)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1554 KB, uploaded 12 July 2013]   |  


This work shows the preparation of silica membranes by a two-step sol-gel method using tetraethyl orthosilicate in ethanolic solution by employing nitric acid and ammonia as co-catalysts. The sols prepared in pH 6 resulted in the lowest concentration of silanol (Si–OH) species to improve hydrostability and the optimized conditions for film coating. The membrane was tested to desalinate 0.3–15 wt % synthetic sodium chloride (NaCl) solutions at a feed temperature of 22 °C followed by long term membrane performance of up to 250 h in 3.5 wt % NaCl solution. Results show that the water flux (and salt rejection) decrease with increasing salt concentration delivering an average value of 9.5 kg m2 h–1 (99.6%) and 1.55 kg m2 h–1 (89.2%) from the 0.3 and 15 wt % saline feed solutions, respectively. Furthermore, the permeate salt concentration was measured to be less than 600 ppm for testing conditions up to 5 wt % saline feed solutions, achieving below the recommended standard for potable water. Long term stability shows that the membrane performance in water flux was stable for up to 150 h, and slightly reduced from thereon, possibly due to the blockage of large hydrated ions in the micropore constrictions of the silica matrix. However, the integrity of the silica matrix was not affected by the long term testing as excellent salt rejection of >99% was maintained for over 250 h. View Full-Text
Keywords: mesoporous; silica; membrane; sol-gel; desalination; stability mesoporous; silica; membrane; sol-gel; desalination; stability

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Elma, M.; Yacou, C.; Diniz da Costa, J.C.; Wang, D.K. Performance and Long Term Stability of Mesoporous Silica Membranes for Desalination. Membranes 2013, 3, 136-150.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Membranes EISSN 2077-0375 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top