Fabrication and Characterization of Metakaolin Based Flat Sheet Membrane for Membrane Distillation

  • Tsegahun Mekonnen ZewdieEmail author
  • Nigus Gabbiye Habtu
  • Abhishek Dutta
  • Bart Van der Bruggen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 308)


A low-cost flat sheet kaolin/metakaolin membrane was fabricated via a combined using phase inversion and sintering methods at different kaolin/metakaolin content and sintering temperature. The ceramic suspension with suitable viscosity was prepared by mixing the kaolin/metakaolin powder, Polyethersulfone(PESf) as a binder, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone(NMP) as solvent and Polyvinylpyrrolidone(PVP) as a dispersant. The membrane precursor was then sintered in a controlled furnace to target temperature of 1200 ℃,1300 ℃, 1400 ℃ and 1500 ℃. Then, the surface of the kaolin/metakaolin membrane was modified by 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane (PFAS). Finally, the ceramic membrane was characterized using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and a contact angle analyzer. It was found that by varying the kaolin/metakaolin contents and sintering temperatures; different surface morphologies of flat sheet membranes were obtained. Moreover, the successful grafting with PFAS was evidenced by the increase in contact angle from nearly equal to 3.7° to 142°. Thus, it can be generally concluded that the metakaolin based flat sheet membrane has desirable characteristics for membrane distillation applications in terms of hydrophobic effect and chemical stability (<1% weight loss).


Metakaolin Ceramic membrane Phase inversion Sintering Membrane distillation Grafting 



The authors would like to thank and appreciate the Ethiopian government/Ministry of Higher Education and Germany government for its financial support and special thanks to the KU Leuven and the Bahir dar University, for providing necessary facilities for this research.


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsegahun Mekonnen Zewdie
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Nigus Gabbiye Habtu
    • 1
  • Abhishek Dutta
    • 2
  • Bart Van der Bruggen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Chemical and Food EngineeringBahir Dar UniversityBahir DarEthiopia
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering TechnologyKU Leuven, Campus Groep T Leuven, Technologiecluster MaterialentechnologieLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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