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Synthesis and performances of bio-sourced nanostructured carbon membranes elaborated by hydrothermal conversion of beer industry wastes

Oula El Korhani12, Doumit Zaouk2, Sophie Cerneaux1, Randa Khoury3, Antonio Khoury2 and David Cornu1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institut Européen des Membranes, UMR 5635, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier (ENSCM), CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, 276 rue de la Galéra, Montpellier, 34000, France

2 Applied Physic Laboratory (LPA), Faculty of Sciences II, PR2N EDST, Lebanese University, P.O. Box 90239, Jdeidet, 1202, Lebanon

3 Faculty of Agronomy, Lebanese University, P.O. Box 90239, Jdeidet, 1202, Lebanon

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:121  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-121

Published: 7 March 2013


Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) process of beer wastes (Almaza Brewery) yields a biochar and homogeneous carbon-based nanoparticles (NPs). The NPs have been used to prepare carbon membrane on commercial alumina support. Water filtration experiments evidenced the quasi-dense behavior of the membrane with no measurable water flux below an applied nitrogen pressure of 6 bar. Gas permeation tests were conducted and gave remarkable results, namely (1) the existence of a limit temperature of utilization of the membrane, which was below 100°C in our experimental conditions, (2) an evolution of the microstructure of the carbon membrane with the operating temperature that yielded to improved performances in gas separation, (3) the temperature-dependent gas permeance should follow a Knudsen diffusion mechanism, and (4) He permeance was increasing with the applied pressure, whereas N2 and CO2 permeances remained stable in the same conditions. These results yielded an enhancement of both the He/N2 and He/CO2 permselectivities with the applied pressure. These promising results made biomass-sourced HTC-processed carbon membranes encouraging candidates as ultralow-cost and sustainable membranes for gas separation applications.

Hydrothermal carbonization process; Carbon membrane; Beer waste