Despite its extraordinary price, ceramic membrane can still be able to surpass polymeric membrane in the applications that require high temperature and pressure conditions, as well as harsh chemical environment. In order to alleviate the high cost of ceramic material that still becomes one of the major factors that contributes to the high production cost of ceramic membrane, various attempts have been made to use low cost ceramic materials as alternatives to well-known expensive ceramic materials such as alumina, silica, and zirconia in the fabrication of ceramic membrane. Thus, local Malaysian kaolin has been chosen as the ceramic material in this study for the preparation of kaolin hollow fibre membrane since it is inexpensive and naturally abundant in Malaysia. Due to the fact that the sintering process plays a prominent role in obtaining the desired morphology, properties, and performances of prepared ceramic membrane, the aim of this work was to study the effect of different sintering temperatures applied (ranging from 1200 to 1500 °C) in the preparation of kaolin hollow fibre membrane via dry/wet phase inversion-based spinning technique and sintering process. The morphology and properties of membrane were then characterised by SEM, AFM, FTIR, XRD, and three-point bending test, while the performances of membrane were investigated by conducting water permeation and Reactive Black 5 (RB5) dye rejection tests. From the experimental results obtained, the sintering temperature of 1400 °C could be selected as the optimum sintering temperature in preparing the kaolin hollow fibre membrane with the dense sponge-like structure of separation layer that resulted in the good mechanical strength of 70 MPa with the appreciable water permeation of 75 L/h m(2) bar and RB5 rejection of 68%.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.