Fabrication of low-cost ceramic hollow fiber membranes from aluminium dross waste for water purification


  • Mohd Haiqal Abd Aziz Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan Othman Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Ahmad Fauzi Ismail Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Mukhlis Abdul Rahman Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Juhana Jaafar Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Siti Khadijah Hubadillah Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Tai Zhong Cheng Universiti Teknologi Malaysia




Aluminium dross, ceramic hollow fiber membrane, alumina, spinel,


In this study, alumina-spinel composite hollow fibre membranes were fabricated from abundantly available aluminium dross waste, which can be commonly obtained from aluminium-producing factory. The hollow fibre membranes were successfully fabricated by using a combine phase inversion method and sintering technique. The effects of sintering temperatures on morphology, mechanical strength, and permeability of the hollow fibre membranes were systematically investigated. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) was used to analyze the composition of the aluminium dross waste, while x-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) were further studied to characterize the major crystalline phase of the sintered hollow fibre membranes. An increase in sintering temperatures resulted in densification of hollow fibre membrane, consequently induced the flux reduction. The presence of spinel in microstructural of hollow fibre assisted in decreasing the sintering temperature. As comparison to pure alumina membrane counterparts, this alternative ceramic hollow fibre membrane exhibited a comparable mechanical strength of 78.3-155.1 MPa with lower sintering temperatures ranging from 1350 ˚C to 1400 ˚C at ceramic loading of 40%.

Author Biographies

Mohd Haiqal Abd Aziz, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan Othman, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Mukhlis Abdul Rahman, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Juhana Jaafar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Siti Khadijah Hubadillah, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Tai Zhong Cheng, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)


Adeosun, S. O., Sekunowo, O. I., Taiwo, O. O., Ayoola, W. A., Machado, A. (2014). Physical and mechanical properties of aluminum dross. Advances in Materials, 3(2), 6–10.

Belibi Belibi, P., Nguemtchouin, M. M. G., Rivallin, M., Ndi Nsami, J., Sieliechi, J., Cerneaux, S., … Cretin, M. (2015). Microfiltration ceramic membranes from local Cameroonian clay applicable to water treatment. Ceramics International, 41(2), 2752–2759.

Dadkhah, M., Saboori, A., Jafari, M. (2014). Investigating the physical properties of sintered alumina in the presence of MgO nanopowder. Journal of Materials, 1-7.

Dash, B., Das, B. R., Tripathy, B. C., Bhattacharya, I. N., Das, S. C. (2008). Acid dissolution of alumina from waste aluminium dross. Hydrometallurgy, 92(1–2), 48–53.

Fung, Y. L. E., Wang, H. (2014). Nickel aluminate spinel reinforced ceramic hollow fibre membrane. Journal of Membrane Science, 450, 418–424.

How, L. F., Islam, A., Jaafar, M. S., Taufiq-Yap, Y. H. (2016). Extraction and characterization of γ-alumina from waste aluminium dross. Waste and Biomass Valorization, 2–8.

Hubadillah, S. K., Dzarfan Othman, M. H., Harun, Z., Ismail, A. F., Iwamoto, Y., Honda, S., … Mohd Sokri, M. N. (2016). Effect of fabrication parameters on physical properties of metakaolin-based ceramic hollow fibre membrane (CHFM). Ceramics International, 42(14), 15547–15558.

Hubadillah, S. K., Harun, Z., Othman, M. H. D., Ismail, A. F., Salleh, W. N. W., Basri, H., … Gani, P. (2016). Preparation and characterization of low cost porous ceramic membrane support from kaolin using phase inversion/sintering technique for gas separation: Effect of kaolin content and non-solvent coagulant bath. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 112, 24–35.

Hubadillah, S. K., Othman, M. H. D., Harun, Z., Ismail, A. F., Rahman, M. A., Jaafar, J. (2016). A novel green ceramic hollow fiber membrane (CHFM) derived from rice husk ash as combined adsorbent-separator for efficient heavy metals removal. Ceramics International, 43, 4716–4720.

Khemakhem, S., Amar, R. Ben. (2011). Grafting of fluoroalkylsilanes on microfiltration Tunisian clay membrane. Ceramics International, 37(8), 3323–3328.

Kingsbury, B. F. K., Li, K. (2009). A morphological study of ceramic hollow fibre membranes. Journal of Membrane Science, 328(1–2), 134–140.

Li, A., Zhang, H., Yang, H. (2014). Evaluation of aluminum dross as raw material for high-alumina refractory. Ceramics International, 40(8 PART A), 12585–12590.

Li, K. (2007). Ceramic Membranes and Membrane Processes. Ceramic Membranes for Separation and Reaction. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 1-20.

Li, L., Chen, M., Dong, Y., Dong, X., Cerneaux, S., Hampshire, S., … Liu, J. (2015). A low-cost alumina-mullite composite hollow fiber ceramic membrane fabricated via phase-inversion and sintering method. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 36(8), 2057–2066.

Lopez, F. A., Sainz, E., Formoso, A., Alfaro, I. (1994). Recovery of alumina from salt slags in aluminium remelting. Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly, 33(1), 29.

Muslim, M., Paulus, Wi., Yusoff, M. (2009). A Waste to wealth study on converting aluminium dross schedule waste into γ and α Alumina. Recent Advances in Enviroment, Ecosystems and Development, 3, 17–21.

Reddy, M. S., Neeraja, D. (2016). Mechanical and durability aspects of concrete incorporating secondary aluminium slag. Resource-Efficient Technologies, 2(4), 225–232.

Yalamaç, E. (2014). Effect of spinel addition on the sintering behavior and microstructure of alumina-spinel ceramics. Ceramics - Silikaty, 58(4), 314–319.

Zhu, L., Chen, M., Dong, Y., Tang, C. Y., Huang, A. (2016). A low-cost mullite-titania composite ceramic hollow fi ber micro fi ltration membrane for highly ef fi cient separation of oil-in- water emulsion, 90, 277–285.