Fabrication and characterization of coated ceramic membranes from natural sources for water treatment applications


This study aimed to fabricate ceramic membranes for water treatment applications using natural and costeffective materials. This is the first-time white clay, Arabic gum, and marble powder were used in ceramic membranes. Two ceramic membranes were fabricated using an extrusion process: substrate A and substrate B. The JMP software (Version 15) was used to obtain the optimal recipes for the two substrates, which were white clay (62.7 %), silica flour (32.3 %), and Arabic gum (5 %) for substrate A and white clay (63 %), silica flour (26.8 %), and marble powder (10.2 %) for substrate B. Additionally, the effect of waste glass in the coating layer on the separation rate was examined. The ceramic membranes were analysed using various techniques, including X-ray fluorescence (XRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), laser diffraction particle size analysis, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and a universal testing machine. The morphologies of the membranes were observed using scan electron microscopy (SEM), and their chemical resistances were evaluated. The flux across the substrates was measured using a crossflow filtration system, and it was found that substrate B had a higher flux (116 L/m2 h) than substrate A (77 L/m2 h). This was probably due to its higher porosity (34 %) compared to substrate A (29 %). Substrate A, with a coating layer (CO-2), exhibited the highest removal efficiency of approximately 99.2 % for synthetic feed water composed of tap water and bentonite clay, with an average particle size of 1.1 μm and turbidity of 13 ± 0.2 NTU. The costs of ceramic membranes A and B were estimated to be approximately 51 and 47 USD/m2 , respectively. Their cost-effectiveness results from the use of low-cost materials that do not require high sintering temperatures. This study demonstrates that these ceramic membranes are not only affordable but also possess desirable properties for water treatment applications

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