Recent development in microporous inorganic membranes represents a significant advance in materials for separation and chemical reaction applications. This paper provides an in-depth review of synthesis and properties of two groups (amorphous and crystalline) of microporous inorganic membranes. Amorphous microporous silica membranes can be prepared by the sol-gel and phase separation methods. Flat sheet, tubular and hollow fiber amorphous carbon membranes have been fabricated by various pyrolysis methods from polymer precursors. A large number of synthesis methods have been developed to prepare good quality polycrystalline zeolite membranes. Several techniques, including vapor and liquid approaches, are reviewed for pore structure modification to prepare microporous inorganic membranes from mesoporous inorganic membranes. Chemical, microstructural and permeation properties of these microporous membranes are summarized and compared among the several microporous membranes discussed in this paper. Theory for gas permeation through microporous membranes is also reviewed, with emphasis on comparison with the experimental data. These inorganic microporous membranes offer excellent separation properties by the mechanisms of preferential adsorption, selective configurational diffusion or molecular sieving.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- General Chemical Engineering
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Filtration and Separation