High flux composite PTMSP-silica nanohybrid membranes for the pervaporation of ethanol/water mixtures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Silica-filled poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne) (PTMSP) layers were successfully applied for the first time on top of ultrafiltration support membranes and applied in the pervaporative separation of ethanol/water mixtures. Reduction of the thickness of the separating PTMSP top layer and addition of hydrophobic silica particles resulted in a clear flux increase as compared to dense PTMSP membranes. With ethanol/water separation factors up to 12 and fluxes up to 3.5 kg m(-2) h(-1), the prepared supported PTMSP-silica nanohybrid membranes performed significantly better than the best commercially available organophilic pervaporation membranes. Characterization of a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and a polyacrylonitrile (PAN) support membrane revealed a more open, irregular and hydrophobic surface structure for the former membrane, thus explaining the higher fluxes of the PTMSP/PVDF composite membrane. Because of their promising flux-selectivity combination, the prepared membranes exhibit great potential in the removal of alcohols from aqueous mixtures. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • S. Claes
  • P. Vandezande
  • S. Mullens
  • R. Leysen
  • K. De Sitter
  • Anna Andersson
  • Frans Maurer
  • H. Van den Rul
  • R. Peeters
  • M. K. Van Bael
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Chemical Sciences


  • Silica-filled nanohybrid membranes, Water/ethanol separation, High flux composite membranes, PTMSP, Organophilic pervaporation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-167
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Polymer and Materials Chemistry (LTH) (011001041)