Silicon carbide (SiC) ceramic membranes are of particular significance for wastewater treatment due to their mechanical strength, chemical stability, and antifouling ability. Currently, the membranes are prepared by SiC-particle sintering at a high temperature. The production suffers from long production time and high costs. In this paper, we demonstrated a more economical way to produce SiC ultrafiltration membranes based on low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD). SiC was deposited in the pores of alumina microfiltration supports using two precursors (SiH2Cl2 and C2H2/H2) at a relatively low temperature of 750 °C. Different deposition times varying from 0 to 150 min were used to tune membrane pore size. The pure water permeance of the membranes only decreased from 350 Lm−2h−1bar−1 to 157 Lm−2h−1bar−1 when the deposition time was increased from 0 to 120 min due to the narrowing of membrane pore size from 71 to 47 nm. Increasing the deposition time from 120 to 150 min mainly resulted in the formation of a thin, dense layer on top of the support instead of in the pores. Oil-in-water emulsion filtration experiments illustrated that both the reversible and irreversible fouling of the SiC-deposited UF membrane was considerably lower as compared to the pristine alumina support. The unique feature that pore sizes decrease linearly as a function of SiC deposition time creates opportunities to produce low-fouling SiC membranes with tuned pore sizes on relatively cheap support.
- Ceramic membranes
- Low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD)
- Oil-in-water emulsion
- Silicon carbide membrane