Hydrothermally stable organosilica-based hybrid membranes for molecular separations (10454)

The currently granted project is the follow-up of a successful STW project (TFC.5426) in which an entirely new class of hybrid materials with molecular separation properties was discovered and patented. These materials have a superior hydrothermal stability under industrially relevant conditions, and membranes made from it are able to separate small molecules such as hydrogen and water from gas mixtures and biofuels with high selectivity. In the newly funded project we will further develop these hybrid molecular sieving membranes resulting in a substantial improvement of pH and chemical stability and a full control over the pore size distribution in the range of 0.2-10 nm. Their performance in terms of permeability and selectivity will be investigated in several model separation processes (gas separation, pervaporation, and nanofiltration).

Artists’ impression of a hybrid membrane. The inner cylinder is the mechanical carrier of the thin film hybrid membrane: a layer of about 100 nanometer thickness coated on the outside of the tube. To the external surface a mixture of alcohols and water is fed. Only water molecules can transport through this layer, reach the inside of the tube, and leave the tube from there. The inset shows a close-up of the layer showing the organic links and pores.

Please note that the final membrane (separation) layer can be coated either on the outside or on the inside of the mechanical carrier tube.


For further information:

Louis Winnubst, University of Twente, Inorganic membranes;

e-mail: a.j.a.winnubst@!spam-protected!utwente.nl

André ten Elshof, University of Twente, Inorganic Materials Science;

e-mail: j.e.tenelshof@!spam-protected!utwente.nl

Hessel Castricum, University of Amsterdam, Heterogeneous Catalysis and Sustainable Energy;

e-mail: h.l.castricum@!spam-protected!uva.nl