Nanoporous alumina membranes for sugar industry: An investigation of sintering parameters influence onultrafiltration performance

Farooq Khan Niazi, Malik Adeel Umer, Ashfaq Ahmed, Muhammad Arslan Hafeez, Zafar Khan, Muhammad Shoaib Butt, Abdul Razzaq, Xian Luo, Young Kwon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Ultrafiltration membranes offer a progressive and efficient means to filter out various process fluids. The prime factor influencing ultrafiltration to a great extent is the porosity of the membranes employed. Regarding membrane development, alumina membranes are extensively studied due to their uniform porosity and mechanical strength. The present research work is specifically aimed towards the investigation of nanoporous alumina membranes, as a function of sintering parameters, on ultrafiltration performance. Alumina membranes are fabricated by sintering at various temperatures ranging from 1200–1300C for different holding times between 5–15 h. The morphological analysis, conducted using Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), revealed a homogeneous distribution of pores throughout the surface and cross-section of the membranes developed. It was observed that an increase in the sintering temperature and time resulted in a gradual decrease in the average pore size. A sample with an optimal pore size of 73.65 nm achieved after sintering at 1250C for 15 h, was used for the evaluation of ultrafiltration performance. However, the best mechanical strength and highest stress-bearing ability were exhibited by the sample sintered at 1300C for 5 h, whereas the sample sintered at 1250C for 5 h displayed the highest strain in terms of compression. The selected alumina membrane sample demonstrated excellent performance in the ultrafiltration of sugarcane juice, compared to the other process liquids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7593
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2021


  • Nanoporous membrane
  • Sintering
  • Sugar industry
  • Time-motion study
  • Ultrafiltration


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