In this study, a corrosion-stable silica membrane was developed to be used in H2 purification during the hydrogen iodide decomposition (2HI → H2 + I2), which is a new application of the silica membranes. From a practical perspective, the membrane separation length was enlarged up to 400 mm and one end of the membrane tubes was closed to avoid any thermal variation along the membrane length and sealing issues. The silica membranes consisted of a three-layer structure comprising a porous α-Al2O3 ceramic support, an intermediate layer, and a top silica layer. The intermediate layer was composed of γ-Al2O3 or silica, and the top silica layer that is H2 selective was prepared via counter-diffusion chemical vapor deposition of a hexyltrimethoxysilane. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of 400-mm-long closed-end silica membranes supported on Si-formed α-Al2O3 tubes produced via chemical vapor deposition method. A 400-mm-long closed-end membrane using a Si-formed α-Al2O3 tube exhibited a higher H2/SF6 selectivity of 1240 but lower H2 permeance of 1.4 × 10−7 mol Pa−1 m−2 s−1 with compared with the membrane using a γ-Al2O3-formed α-Al2O3 tube (907 and 5.6 × 10−7 mol Pa−1 m−2 s−1, respectively). The membrane using the Si-formed α-Al2O3 tube was more stable in corrosive HI gas than a membrane with a γ-Al2O3-formed α-Al2O3 tube after 300 h of stability tests. In conclusion, the developed silica membranes using the Si-formed α-Al2O3 tubes seem suitable for membrane reactors that produce H2 on large scale using HI decomposition in the thermochemical iodine–sulfur process.
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