A novel sacrificial interlayer-based method for the preparation of silicon carbide membranes

Bahman Elyassi, Muhammad Sahimi, Theodore T. Tsotsis

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66 Scopus citations


A novel method is presented based on the use of sacrificial interlayers for the preparation of nanoporous silicon carbide membranes. It involves periodic and alternate coatings of polystyrene sacrificial interlayers and silicon carbide pre-ceramic layers on the top of slip-casted tubular silicon carbide supports. Membranes prepared by this technique exhibit single gas ideal separation factors of helium and hydrogen over argon in the ranges 176-465 and 101-258, respectively, with permeances that are typically two to three times higher than those of silicon carbide membranes prepared previously by the more conventional techniques. Mixed-gas experiments with the same membranes indicate separation factors as high as 117 for an equimolar H2/CH4 mixture. We speculate that the improved membrane characteristics are due to the sacrificial interlayers filling the pores in the underlying structure and preventing their blockage by the pre-ceramic polymer. The new method has good promise for application to the preparation of a variety of other inorganic microporous membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 15 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The support of the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and NASA is gratefully acknowledged. Superior Graphite Co. is acknowledged for kindly providing us the SiC powders. The authors would also like to thank Mr. Li-Chung Lai and Mr. Tae Wook Kim for performing the SEM analysis.


  • Dip-coating
  • Gas separation
  • Polystyrene sacrificial interlayers
  • Silicon carbide membrane
  • Slip-coating


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