Evaluation and fabrication of pore-size-tuned silica membranes with tetraethoxydimethyl disiloxane for gas separation



Organic/inorganic hybrid silica membranes were prepared from 1,1,3,3-tetraethoxy-1,3-dimethyl disiloxane (TEDMDS) by the sol-gel technique with firing at 300–550°C in N2. TEDMDS-derived silica membranes showed high H2 permeance (0.3–1.1 × 10−6 mol m−2 s−1 Pa−1) with low H2/N2 (∼10) and high H2/SF6 (∼1200) perm-selectivity, confirming successful tuning of micropore sizes larger than TEOS-derived silica membranes. TEDMDS-derived silica membranes prepared at 550°C in N2 increased gas permeances as well as pore sizes after air exposure at 450°C. TEDMDS had an advantage in tuning pore size by the “template” and “spacer” techniques, due to the pyrolysis of methyl groups in air and Si[BOND]O[BOND]Si bonding, respectively. For pore size evaluation of microporous membranes, normalized Knudsen-based permeance, which was proposed based on the gas translation model and verified with permeance of zeolite membranes, reveals that pore sizes of TEDMDS membranes were successfully tuned in the range of 0.6–1.0 nm. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011