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Evaluation of the performance of ?-alumina nano-porous ceramic composite membrane for esterification applications in petroleum refinery.

Okon, Edidiong; Shehu, Habiba; Gobina, Edward


Edidiong Okon

Habiba Shehu

Edward Gobina


The carrier gas permeation performance through alpha-alumina nano-porous ceramic membrane was investigated in this study. The four carrier gases used for the study were argon (Ar), helium (He), nitrogen (N2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The experiments was carried out at the gauge pressure drop of 0.10-1.00 bar at 80 degrees C. The alpha-alumina membrane was prepared using the sol-gel dip-coating techniques. The dip-coated membrane exhibited a higher molar flux with He (0.046 mol m-2s-1) and Ar (0.037 mol m-2s-1) with a much lower flux for N2 (0.037 mol m-2s-1) and CO2 (0.035 mol m-2s-1) at 0.30 bar. The membrane recorded a huge decrease of permeance with the four carrier gases in the range of 9.81783E-07 mol m-2 s-1 Pa-1 to 1.23237E-06 mol m-2 s-1 Pa-1 at 0.50 bar. The gas flow rate increased with respect to the pressure drop across the membrane. A plot of the inverse square root of the gases molecular weight showed a linear dependence on the gas permeance. The order of the gas flow rate with respect to the mean pressure was He > Ar > CO2 > N2. The membrane was characterised using different methods including liquid nitrogen physisorption (Quantachrome instrument 2013) and scanning electron microscopy (Zeiss EVO LS10 SEM). The liquid nitrogen adsorption isotherm were described using the BET and BJH methods The BET surface area of the 7th dip-coated membrane was found to be higher (5.991 m2/g) in contrast to the 8th dipped (3.840 m2/g). The BJH pore size distribution of the membrane show a reduction pore size after the modification process. The BET isotherms of the membrane indicated a type IV isotherm with hysteresis on the curve indicating that the membrane can undergo a capillary condensation in the mesoporous region. The SEM/EDAX of support showed a clear surface without evidence of crack while the SEM micrograph of the silica membrane exhibit a bonding on the surface membrane as result of the modification process.


OKON, E., SHEHU, H. and GOBINA, E. 2018. Evaluation of the performance of a-alumina nano-porous ceramic composite membrane for esterification applications in petroleum refinery. Catalysis today [online], 310, pages 146-156. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 29, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 10, 2017
Publication Date Jul 15, 2018
Deposit Date Jun 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 11, 2018
Journal Catalysis today
Print ISSN 0920-5861
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 310
Pages 146-156
Keywords Tubular membrane; Characterisation; Chromatogram; Carrier gas transport; Knudsen mechanism; Adsorption isotherm; Esterification
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