Silica nanoparticles were slip cast into porous stainless steel supports, which were then coated with polyfurfuryl alcohol and pyrolyzed to make nanoporous carbon membranes. The single gas permeances of the membranes formed on modified stainless steel supports were found to be between two and three orders of magnitude larger than the permeances of nanoporous carbon membranes (<10-11 mol m-2 s-1 Pa-1) synthesized on unmodified supports. Importantly, these high permeances (10-8-10-9 mol m-2 s-1 Pa-1) were achieved within the same range of O2/N2 selectivities (3-5) that we have observed for single gases permeating at much lower fluxes through the nanoporous carbon membranes on unmodified supports. The nanoporous carbon membranes also were formed by combining the silica nanoparticles with polyfurfuryl alcohol resin and applying the mixture directly onto an unmodified support. This simpler process was as effective in producing selective-high permeance membranes. In both cases the significant increase in permeance without loss of selectivity is attributed to the silica nanoparticles filling the macropores of the stainless steel supports, thereby leading to the formation of very thin but selective carbon layers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)