Microstructure control of oxygen permeation membranes with templated microchannels
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Microchanneled ceramic membranes have been prepared by a templated phase-inversion process, and the effects of coagulant and slurry properties on the microchannel structure were investigated in order to control membrane microstructure for achieving highly-efficient oxygen permeation. Microchannels are formed by the rapid convection of coagulant and solvent during the phase-inversion, using a mesh as a template. The membrane microstructure is greatly affected by the method of applying coagulant, coagulant solubility and phase-inversion time. Polymer concentration and solid loading influence slurry viscosity, and long and uniform microchannels are formed from the slurries with low slurry viscosities. The membrane with long and uniform microchannels achieved high oxygen permeation fluxes because of short oxygen ion diffusion distances and large membrane surface area located within the numerous microchannels. The formation mechanism of the microstructure was also proposed on the basis of the experiment results.
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