Preparation of ceramic composite membranes for protein separation
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Ceramic supports were prepared from fine alumina and zirconia powders by dry-pressing and slip-casting. These supports were heat treated in the 1100° - 1200°C temperature range and dip-coated with ceramic sols prepared from alkoxides by using sol-gel methods. The average sol particle sizes were measured as 3-7 nm for zirconia and 30-40 nm for alumina by laser scattering technique. The optimum heat treatment temperature range was determined as 500°-600°C for dip-coated membranes by using TGA (thermo gravimetric analysis) results. The microstructure of the ceramic composite membranes was investigated by SEM (Scanning electron microscope). The clean water permeability (CWP) of the membranes was tested by using deionized water in a filtration set-up. Separation experiments were performed with bovine serum albumin (BSA, Stokes diameter: 7 nm) solution and whey to determine the protein separation capacity of the composite membranes. The CWP of the dry pressed alumina supports heat treated at 1100°C was found to be higher than the permeability of the slip-casted zirconia supports heat treated at 1200°C. The protein retention of the slip-casted zirconia support was determined as 60% by using UV-Vis spectrophotometer (Abs. at 280nm). A protein retention value of 96% was achieved for whey after the modification of the support with dip-coating. The permeate flux was 40 L/m2hour for dry-pressed alumina support dip-coated with zirconia sol calcined at 500°C.