A Caltech Library Service

Preparation of zeolite ZSM-5 membranes


Yan, Yushan (1997) Preparation of zeolite ZSM-5 membranes. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/05FZ-JS07.


NOTE: Text or symbols not renderable in plain ASCII are indicated by [...]. Abstract is included in .pdf document. Zeolite ZSM-5 membranes were prepared on porous [...] disks by in-situ crystallization using a clear solution of optimized composition [...]. During the synthesis, the disk was fixed horizontally at the air-liquid interface and a continuous polycrystalline zeolite film of about 10 µm thickness formed on the bottom surface of disk. Extensive experimentation was carried out to find the optimal composition. Pure gas permeation measurements of the most successful preparation yielded hydrogen:isobutane and n-butane:isobutane ratios of 151 and 18 at room temperature and 54 and 31 at 185°C, respectively. Electron probe microanalysis of the cross section of a membrane prepared on a bare alumina disk revealed a layer of crystalline or amorphous silica extending 80 µm inside the pores of the support. It is believed that this internal layer adds resistance to permeation and degrades selectivity. To limit the excessive penetration of siliceous species into the support pores, a diffusion barrier was introduced into the pores of the support prior to zeolite crystallization by impregnating the disk with a 1:1 molar mixture of furfuryl alcohol and tetraethylorthosilicate, polymerizing the mixture retained in the disk, and carbonizing the resulting polymer. Following carbonization, a partial carbon burnoff was carried out to generate a carbon-free region near the surface of the support. Membranes synthesized using barriers have n-butane flux and n-butane:isobutane selectivity 2.7 x [...] and 45 at 185°C which are, respectively, about 1.6 and 4 times as large as those of membranes prepared without the use of barriers. The n-butane:isobutane selectivity of ZSM-5 membranes was substantially improved (e.g. 322 vs. 45 at 185°C) by a post-synthetic coking treatment which was accomplished by impregnating the membranes with liquid 1,3,5-triisopropylbenzene (TIPB) for 24 hours at room temperature and then calcining them in air at 500°C for 2 hours. Calcination at 500°C for up to 30 hours does not destroy the high n-butane:isobutane selectivity. Thermogravimetric analysis experiments suggest that microdefects in the zeolite membranes were selectively eliminated by the TIPB coking treatment while the intracrystalline pore space of the ZSM-5 was not affected. A model of surface-induced nucleation, crystal growth, and crystal adhesion was proposed for the aforementioned heterogeneous hydrothermal synthesis system. During the synthesis, aluminosilicates in the aged solution interact favorably with and travel toward the [...] surface, resulting in concentration and nucleation in the vicinity of the surface. Some of the nuclei become attached to the surface and grow into a zeolite film while others settle and produce loose zeolite crystals at the bottom of the autoclave. The nutrients for crystal growth is supplied by active gel particles and the synthesis solution. Surface -OH groups on the substrate appear important for crystal adhesion via condensation. As for zeolite membrane formation on a surface of certain area, the location and orientation of the surface as well as the amount of synthesis liquid accessible to the surface are critical for the quality of the zeolite membrane.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:film; membrane; MFI; Separation; Zeolite; ZSM-5
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Gavalas, George R. (advisor)
  • Davis, Mark E. (advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Gavalas, George R. (co-chair)
  • Davis, Mark E. (co-chair)
  • Giapis, Konstantinos P.
  • Wang, Zhen-Gang
Defense Date:12 August 1996
Non-Caltech Author Email:Yushan.Yan (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-11102005-141042
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4493
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:10 Nov 2005
Last Modified:21 Dec 2019 02:53

Thesis Files

PDF (Yan_y_1997.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page