A Novel Approach to Fabricate Zeolite Membranes for Pervaporation Separation Processes

  • Abdulaziz Alomair

Student thesis: Phd


The production of zeolite membranes has developed over the last decade, and the membranes have been used extensively in pervaporation separation processes due to their resistance to chemical and thermal operating conditions. However, the conventional methods used in preparing anisotropic zeolite membranes, such as the secondary growth and in-situ crystallization methods, involve long and complex procedures that require the preparation of zeolite aluminosilicate gel prior to the fabrication process. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop and test an easier, less expensive, and less time-consuming technique to fabricate different types of zeolite anisotropic membranes. Moreover, the fabrication of zeolite membranes using inexpensive kaolin raw materials taken straight out of the ground was taken into account and assessed. Within this framework, a novel technique of converting raw source alumina and silica, to a useful pure material of zeolite A was developed without any form of pre-treatment. Although this technique yielded a successful outcome in terms of the purity of the product, the later work conducted in fabricating membranes was focused on natural and commercial sources of zeolites rather than using the prepared products, to avoid the lengthy procedure. Anisotropic membranes of zeolite A, mordenite, and ZSM-5 were fabricated successfully using a simple, economical, and straight-forward technique. This technique made it possible to fabricate types of zeolite membranes that have been difficult to synthesise at the lab scale, where an anisotropic, clinoptilolite, thin membrane was fabricated for the first time in this study. All of the four membranes were subjected to different types of mixtures and provided promising results.
Date of Award1 Aug 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorStuart Holmes (Supervisor)


  • pervaporation process
  • zeolite membranes

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