392203 Micro-Structured Ceramic Hollow Fibres for Heterogeneous Catalytic Gas Phase Reactions

Thursday, November 20, 2014: 10:10 AM
313 (Hilton Atlanta)
K. Li, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK, United Kingdom

A catalytic membrane reactor combines the processes of reaction and separation and is consequently a compact and efficient system for carrying out separations and catalytic reactions. Efficiency can be further increased by the use of a hollow fibre configuration due to the extremely large surface area per unit volume that can be achieved in this way. However, as the support structure is an integral part of the system, its properties greatly affect the performance of the reactor as a whole so it is essential to be able to control both the macro and microstructure of the support to achieve high levels of efficiency. Therefore, new techniques for manipulating ceramic hollow fibre morphology must be developed.

The formation process and morphology of asymmetric ceramic hollow fibre membranes have been studied. Experimental results obtained so far indicate that it is possible to prepare a thin membrane (pore size at ~0.1 mm) supported by a plurality of radial micro-channels of the same material in one-step. The formation of this structure is due to hydrodynamically unstable viscous fingering developed when a less viscous fluid (non-solvent) is in contact with a higher viscosity fluid (ceramic suspension containing invertible polymer binder). To better understand the relationship between non-solvent concentration in the spinning suspension and viscosity, with regard to membrane morphologies, the two parameters have been varied systematically so as to determine the dominating factor, while dynamic video-microscopy has been employed to visualize the formation of micro-channels. Finally, applications of the developed ceramic hollow fibre membranes in catalytic gas phase reactions will also be presented.

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