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Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division (I)
Inorganic Chemistry Division (II)


Number: 2000-002-2-100

Title: Standardization of methods for the characterization of inorganic membranes

Task Group
Ed Yi Hua Ma

Members: L. Cot, J.A. Dalmon, Imre Dekany, Douglas Fain, John Falconer, J.H. Fendler, Hubert Fleming, George R. Gavalas, W.S. Winston, Eiichi Kikuchi, William J. Koros, Y.S. Lin, Vladimir Linkov, Shin-ichi Nakao, Richard D. Noble, John Pellegrino, J.D.R. Ramsay, Jesus Santamaria, Theodore T. Tsotsis, J. Douglas Way, Nanping Xu - to be completed by addition of members from both industry and academics

Remarks: part of the Strategic Initiative on Materials

Completion Date: project abandoned


  1. To indicate the practical capabilities of physical and physico-chemical techniques for, specifically, the characterization of inorganic membranes.
  2. To recommend an efficient methodology for the determination of inorganic membrane properties of practical importance.
  3. To draw attention to unresolved or unaddressed issues which deserve experimental attention.

In the past decade, there has been a rapid growth in the number of publications dealing with synthesis and characterization of inorganic membranes. Furthermore, the increased industrial interest has been demonstrated by the recent formation of two multi-consortiums to develop inorganic membranes for partial oxidation of methane to synthesis gas. Such a large increase in the interest in the development of a new generation of inorganic membranes is, at least, due in part to their excellent chemical, thermal and mechanical stability. We can certainly expect a wide variety of applications of inorganic membranes, along with polymeric membranes, to be developed in the decades to come. Therefore, the development of standard characterization procedures for the evaluation and comparison of the important characteristics of inorganic membranes is essential to facilitate information exchange among researchers and industrial practitioners and to enhance the membrane development.

The project contents are:

  1. Organization of a half-day workshop to address issues and techniques involved in the characterization of inorganic membranes. The format of the workshop will be 5-6 invited lectures given by experts in the field of inorganic membranes followed by a panel discussion. > see Progress section
  2. Characterization of physical properties of inorganic membranes including, but not limited to, porosity, pore size distribution, membrane thickness and streaming potential. The emphasis will be on the well-established general techniques such as mercury porosimetry, adsorption and desorption isotherms, calorimetric determinations, SEM, TEM, NMR and AFM.
  3. Transport property characterization by dynamic techniques including rejection measurements, liquid/gas methods (e.g., bubble point, liquid expulsion permporometry), liquid/liquid displacement porosimetry, liquid/gas permeance measurements and permporometry.
  4. Development of standards for protocols, data analysis and reporting formats.
  5. Development of standards for experimental conditions for characterization including temperature, pressure, standard gases and single and mixture gas measurements.

In addition to the organization of two workshops, the following additional steps will be taken to carry out the project.

  1. Forming a Working Party consisting of leading experts from both academia and industry;
  2. Providing a summary on currently published characterization techniques;
  3. Conducting surveys among academic and industrial researchers to obtain additional information on characterization techniques and suggestions for new techniques;
  4. Selecting a preliminary list of suggested standardized characterization methods by the Working Party;
  5. Distributing the preliminary list to the people working in the field for comments and suggestions;
  6. Formulating the final recommendations by the Working Party to IUPAC for review and approval.

Progress :

This project was presented at a poster session at the IUPAC Congress/GA July 2001
>view pdf - 206KB<

A half-day workshop was held in conjunction with the 6th International Conference on Inorganic Membranes in Montpellier, France, June 26-30, 2000.

project abandoned

Last update: 21 April 2005

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Page last modified 21 April 2005.
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