Synthesis and characterization of novel nanocomposite Chitosan membranes for Ethanol dehydration

Document Type : Reasearch Paper


Separation Processes Research Group (SPRG), Department of Engineering, University of Kashan, Kashan, Iran. Energy Research Institute, University of Kashan, Ghotb-e-Ravandi Ave., Kashan, Iran.



Polyacrylonitril (PAN)-supported chitosan (CS) nanocomposite membranes were prepared by cross-linking the CS with 3-aminopropyl-triethoxysilane (APTEOS) via sol-gel method. Pervaporative performances of the CS-SiO2/PAN membrane for dehydration of aqueous alcohol solutions were investigated. From SEM cross-sectional images of the membrane, the spongy pores and the finger-like pores were found in cortex and intermediate layer. The PAN microporous substrate and the top layer were about 100 and 7.4 µm thick, respectively. The separation factor and permeation flux of the synthesized CS/PAN and CS-SiO2/PAN membranes indicated that introducing 5% of nanosilica to skin layer of the composite membrane improved its pervaporative properties. At 30 , a separation factor of 20.03 and 34.25 were achieved for CS/PAN and CS-SiO2/PAN membranes, respectively.