Novel low cost ceramic and zeolite-ceramic composite tubular membranes for liquid phase separation applications

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In this work, a novel tubular configured ceramic membrane was developed using locally available inexpensive raw materials by extrusion technique. The raw materials and the fabricated membrane were characterized by particle size distribution (PSD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric (TG) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). The prepared membrane ($0.5/membrane or 69 $/m2) possessed the porosity of 53%, water permeability of 5.93×10-7 m3/m2s kPa, an average pore size of 0.309 μm and mechanical strength of 12 MPa with very good corrosion resistance. In order to explore the potential application of the membrane, it was utilized for the treatment of oily and dairy wastewaters. Various process conditions such as effect of applied pressure, feed concentration and crossflow rate on the treatment process were investigated. Diverse pore blocking models (complete, standard, intermediate pore blocking and cake filtration model) were employed to analyze the fouling mechanism associated with the treatment process. The applied pressure of 69 kPa offered the highest rejection of oily wastewater (99.98%) with permeate flux of 3.16×10-5 m3/m2s. The membrane achieved a maximum reduction in COD up to 91% in the permeate stream with a flux of 2.59×10-6 m3/m2s in dairy wastewater. It was anticipated that the elaborated low cost membrane could be used as a support for the fabrication of zeolite ceramic composite membranes.
Supervisor: G. Pugazhenthi