SAPO-34 zeolite membranes for krypton/xenon separation
Kwon, Yeon Hye
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The overall focus of this thesis is to develop and understand zeolitic membranes that can separate mixtures of radioisotope krypton-85 and xenon released as off-gases during used nuclear fuel recycling. The primary advantage of separating krypton-85 from xenon is to reduce the volume of radioactive waste for storage. Moreover, revenue is expected by the sale of high-purity Xe. Zeolite membranes are attractive because of their high resistance to radiation degradation and much lower energy requirement compared to cryogenic distillation. However, there is currently very little knowledge in the literature regarding the properties of zeolite materials and membranes for Kr/Xe separation. In this thesis, a detailed study of silicoaluminophosphate zeolite SAPO-34 materials and membranes is carried out and a potential role of membrane system is investigated for Kr/Xe separation. This aim is pursued via the development of scalable approaches for fabrication of high-performance SAPO-34 membranes, detailed investigation of transport properties, and a preliminary analysis of its economic potential.