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Autonomous and intrinsic self-healing Al2O3 membrane employing highly-wetting and CO2-selective molten salts

Lookup NU author(s): Maria Kazakli, Dr Greg MutchORCiD, Dr Georgios TriantafyllouORCiD, Professor Ian Metcalfe



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


High temperature ceramic membranes often suffer catastrophic failure and loss of selectivity due to the initiation and propagation of cracks, leading to the creation of leak paths for undesired permeants. Cracking occurs due to the brittle nature of ceramics and e.g. materials expansivity mismatch or stresses accumulated at sealing points. One way to overcome this problem is to produce a self-healing membrane, where the healing phase restores perm-selectivity to the membrane following cracking. Here we show that the molten salt in a supported molten-salt membrane for CO2 permeation can be used to self-heal a working membrane in operation, all the while being the selective phase for permeation. By designing a membrane with a sacrificial crack-inducing agent (removed to create a clear leak-path) we show in a single experiment how a permeating membrane can crack and leak, then autonomously self-heal via an intrinsic mechanism; controlled spreading of the highly-wetting and CO2 selective molten salt. No external triggers or self-healing stimuli are required, indicating that highly-wetting and selective liquids can be used to increase membrane lifetime by self-healing, reducing capital and operating costs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kazakli M, Mutch GA, Qu L, Triantafyllou G, Metcalfe IS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Membrane Science

Year: 2020

Volume: 600

Print publication date: 15/04/2020

Online publication date: 21/01/2020

Acceptance date: 16/01/2020

Date deposited: 22/01/2020

ISSN (print): 0376-7388

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3123

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2020.117855


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