Novel hybrid ceramic/carbon membrane for oil removal

The research article 'Novel hybrid ceramic/carbon membrane for oil removal' has been published in Elsevier's Journal of Membrane Science.

Abstract

A low cost and high performing hybrid ceramic/carbon symmetric membrane has been fabricated and tested. The hybrid membrane was fabricated by mixing alumina powder with high surface area powdered activated carbon (PAC). The hybrid Al2O3/AC membrane has a developed complex network of micro and nano channels which enhanced the porosity of the membrane two fold compared to a pure Al2Omembrane. Furthermore, due to enhanced pore size and porosity, the hybrid membrane exhibited super-hydrophilic characteristics with the contact angle being close to zero. The increase in the membrane roughness enhanced the surface area of the membrane, which created an increase in the membrane surface area for the filtration path.

The membrane exhibited a very high removal efficiency and retention (more than 99%) of oil from an oil-in-water emulsion stabilized by a surfactant. The membrane performance has been tested under harsh conditions such as a high oil concentration in a concentrated saline feed and no change in the separation efficiency or performance was observed with time. The membrane proved to be a good candidate for applications such as the treatment of oily wastewater or oil separation from seawater or from produced-water.

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