Preparation, Characterization and Applications of Kaolin Based Low Cost Ceramic Membranes

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Compared to polymeric membranes, ceramic membranes have excellent combinations of mechanical, chemical and thermal stability, longer shelf life, good cleaning/defouling properties and capability to withstand against organic solvents. Amongst various types of ceramic membranes, kaolin based ceramic membranes are promising due to their lower raw material and sintering costs. Several applications exist for ceramic membrane technology and in these the wastewater treatment application is highly relevant as it has the potential to encourage the industrial and economic competitiveness of kaolin based low cost ceramic membranes. This work addresses the preparation, characterization and application of kaolin based low cost ceramic membranes. Various characterization techniques such as particle size distribution (PSD), thermogravimetric (TG), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron micrograph (SEM), flexural strength, corrosion resistance, water permeability and solvent permeability analysis have been conducted to evaluate the membrane characterization parameters. Depending upon the achieved set of characterized parameters for different fabricated membranes, important wastewater treatment applications such as treatment of oil-water emulsion, separation of E. Coli. bacteria from synthetic solution have been studied using microfiltration operation and chromium (VI) removal has been studied using adsorption-microfiltration process. Finally, one of the ceramic membranes has been utilized as a support to fabricate LTA zeolite composite membranes and has been investigated for the ultrafiltration of bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein solution.
Supervisor: G. Pugazhenthi