Characterization of tubular ceramic supports for the manufacture of carbon membranes

Reference Presenter Authors
06-069 Janice Souza Hamm Hamm, J.S.(Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul); Ambrosi, A.(Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul); Schindel, L.K.(Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul); Pollo, L.D.(Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul); Marcilio, N.R.(Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul); Tessaro, I.C.(Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul); The need to use more sustainable processes motivates research in search of innovative technologies that are more energy efficient and use less natural resources. Membrane technology has been gaining notoriety as an alternative to gas/liquid separation/purification processes due to its versatility, ease of operation, low waste/effluent generation, and lower energy consumption compared to traditional separation processes. Among the different membrane classes, the carbon membranes (MC), formed from the polymer decomposition under inert atmosphere or vacuum, are prominent. These membranes have as main characteristic resistance to severe atmospheres, such as high temperatures and pressures or chemically aggressive, allowing their use in several industrial applications. Due to their low thickness, MC are usually extremely fragile, requiring the presence of a support, which must have mechanical strength, controlled pore size and be chemically inert. These materials may be polymeric, metallic or ceramic and should not interfere on the membrane performance. The objective of this work was to evaluate two commercial tubular ceramic supports, TCB99 and TCB600, containing 99% and 60% (m/m) of alumina, respectively. The following characterization techniques were used to evaluate the properties of the supports: Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), surface analysis (BET), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-Ray Fluorescence (FRX). The analysis of the results allowed to infer that both ceramic tubes have homogeneous morphology in the surface and cross section, with presence of macropores in the structure. These ceramic tubes presented alumina and silica in their composition, containing magnesium, zirconium and potassium oxides in smaller amounts. These results are good indications that both ceramic materials can be used as supports for the fabrication of MC.
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