Synthesis of zeolite membranes in flow system

Önder, Aylin
Zeolite membranes are formed as a thin zeolitic layer on the supports. They are usually synthesized by hydrothermal methods in batch systems. In this study, MFI and SAPO-34 type zeolite membranes were produced on macroporous tubular alumina supports in a recirculating flow system at elevated temperatures for the first time in the literature. During the synthesis, the synthesis mixture is flown between the reservoir and the membrane module which includes the support material. The synthesis temperatures were 180°C and 220°C, and the corresponding system pressures were approximately 20 and 30 bars for MFI and SAPO-34, respectively. The CH4 and n-C4H10 single gas permeances were measured through MFI membranes and the performance of membranes was investigated in the separation of equimolar CH4/n-C4H10 mixtures. The best MFI membrane had a CH4 single gas permeance of 1.45x10-6 mol/m2-s-Pa and CH4/n-C4H10 ideal selectivity of 35 at 25oC. The membranes preferentially permeated n-C4H10 in the separation of mixtures. The n-C4H10/CH4 separation selectivity was 43.6 with a total permeance of approximately 0.8x10-6 mol/m2-s-Pa at 25oC. The ideal selectivities of CO2/CH4 of SAPO-34 membrane synthesized in stagnant medium were 227, and >1000 at 220 and 200oC, respectively. Formation of amorphous structure and the additional secondary phases (impurities) were observed on SAPO-34 membranes synthesized in recirculating flow system. The results showed that it is possible to produce SAPO-34 and high quality MFI membranes by a recirculating flow system operating