Polymer-Derived Ceramic (PDC) Membranes for High-Temperature Gas Separation


Transparent PDC membrane on the inner surface of a porous single-channel tube.
Failure of a PDC membrane with an asymmetric structure (SEM image).

New separation tasks in the energy and chemical industries demand the availability of new membranes that can be used for high-temperature gas separation. Polymer-derived membranes deposited on inorganic substrates represent a new possibility for selectively separating gases based on molecular size in high-temperature conditions.

The polymer-derived ceramic membranes developed at the Fraunhofer IKTS in Hermsdorf are based on silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) and silicon carbonitride (SiCN) as well as silicon carbide (SiC). They show extremely high thermal stabilities as well as an impressive combination of physical and chemical properties, such as chemical inertness and high mechanical hardness. The synthesis routes can be optimized appropriately to enable production of thin PDC membranes with molecular sieve-like properties, e.g., for separation of hydrogen from gas mixtures in high-temperature applications.


Services offered


  • Development and synthesis of novel precursors for PDCs for customer-specific high-temperature applications
  • Optimization of the manufacturing processes (coating, wetting, pyrolysis) for layer deposition on various (including customer-specific) substrates
  • Characterization of porous PDC membranes by single and mixed gas permeance measurement as well as determination of pore size distribution by permporosimetry
  • Customer-specific separation tests
  • Stability tests