Fabrication of a sandwiched silicalite-1 membrane in a 2D confined space for enhanced alcohol/water separation†
A dense zeolite layer with a thickness of approximately 500 nm was demonstrated by a confined-space strategy in a sandwiched mode of (SiO2)/(silicalite-1)/(SiO2). The gel-free secondary growth methodology bypasses the post-calcination step, avoiding excess energy consumption and possible film damage. Significantly enhanced pervaporation separation was observed with separation factors of 136 and 113, and fluxes of 2.3 and 2.2 kg m−2 h−1 for ethanol/n-butanol aqueous solutions, respectively. In addition, the membrane stability was confirmed by the 14 day pervaporation test.