The recently assessed possibility to deposit, through sol gel processes, dedicated ceramic membranes for nanofiltration purposes on a macroporous ceramic support widens the field of applications in comparison with current organic membranes.
The chemical inertia of ceramic membranes makes it possible to wash in strong acidic or alkaline environment, strongly helping the regeneration procedures. Also temperatures may be applied to undertake sterilisation or to lower the viscosity of the filtered product. These unique advantages have already created a market in the case of micro and ultrafiltration, because the higher manufacturing costs are overcome by a longer lifetime. This is also expected for
The challenge lies in the fact that much higher pressures are needed. The macroporous support is submitted to high and complex stresses. Its strength and lifetime become then the limiting factor, whereas reliability is highly desirable because a large number of elements are connected in parallel. A proper selection of the fields of applications must thus be done. Compromises for tuning strength, reliability and lifetime of the macroporous support with the filtering performances must be worked out. However, although semi empirical laws are already proposed for describing the variation of the mechanical, thermal and physical properties in the domain of low porosity, almost no basic work exists for the domain of high (open) porosity where filtration operates.
A detailed study aims to determine the laws of behavior that will be implemented, together with the conditions of use, into a finite element software such as to define critical locations for rupture and criteria for time dependant failure. The concomitant description of the porous microstructure of the variation of the needed properties with porosity in using topological parameters will be an imput into the numerical simulation and the computational approach.
The resulting predictions will be checked on constatations from pilot plant runs. They will be operated on a pool of selected media to be filtered. A basis for improved life cycle assessment and
reliability, in comparison with traditional alternatives and evaluation of further economical spread for ceramic nanofiltration may then be set down
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts