Experimental studies on pore size change of porous ceramic membranes after modification

Y. S. Lin, A. J. Burggraaf

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141 Scopus citations


Experimental results on pore size change of a microfiltration (MF) α-alumina membrane and an ultrafiltration (UF) γ-alumina membrane after modification by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of solid oxides in the membrane pores are presented and explained using the results of a theoretical analysis. With an approx. 10-fold reduction in permeability, the average pore size of the MF membrane is found to increase after CVD modification, due to its relatively broader initial pore size distribution with a small amount of large pores and due to the particular CVD conditions (heterogeneous deposition mechanism) which give a pore narrowing rate independent of pore size. The effective pore size of the UF membrane appears to remain unchanged after modification with an approx. 50-fold reduction in permeability, as a result of the slit-shaped pores of the γ-alumina film and the particular modification conditions. The experimental and theoretical results suggest that, in order to reduce effectively the average pore size of a membrane by a modification process, the membrane should have a rather uniform pore size distribution, or the modification process should be conducted under conditions which give a pore narrowing rate proportional to the pore size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-82
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 26 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • ceramic membranes
  • gas separations
  • membrane modification, pore size change
  • membrane preparation and structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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