School of Chemical Engineering

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The Films and Inorganic Membrane Laboratory (FIMLab) was founded in 2006 by Professor Joe da Costa as a specialised offshoot of the University of Queensland division of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials (ARCCFN) headed by Professor Max Lu. 

FIMLab has now grown to be one of the premier research laboratories of inorganic membrane technology in Australia, focusing on applications of inorganic membrane technology such as gas separation and membrane reactors at high temperatures, various liquid separations, and desalination.

Further information on FIMLab's active research, projects, and staff can be found through the links below:

Available Projects

The following projects are available for prospective students:

  • Perovskite Hollow Fibre Membranes for Oxygen Separation
  • Metal doped silica membranes for hydrogen separation
  • Modelling Transport Phenomena of Gas Mixtures Separation in Membranes
  • The Effect of Trace Elements in Gas Separation Membranes
  • Membrane Reactors for Dehydrogenation Reactions
  • Adsorbent for CO2 within the water gas shift reaction
  • Novel Molecular Templated Membranes for Desalination
Research Areas

FIMLab's research projects centre around the application of inorganic membranes for fluid separation applications by utilising the inherent advantages of inorganic materials at certain conditions, including high temperature and chemical resistances. Starting with research into hydrogen purification from gasifcation syngas (H2/CO2/CO) and the separation of oxygen from air, FIMLab has expanded into the research areas of membrane reactors for the water gas shift reaction, ethanol dehydration, and desalination.

FIMLab Publications

Book Chapters

 Year
 Publication

 2012

Smart, S., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Beltramini, J., Pham, T., Katekani, S. and Harale, A., (2012). Microporous silica membranes: Fundamental and applications in membrane reactors for hydrogen separation. in Advance Membrane Reactors, A. Basile, Editor. Chapter 9, (pp. 337-369) Woodhead Publishing Ltd: Cambridge United Kingdom. DOI: 10.1533/9780857097330.2.337.

Smart, S., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Liu, S., Serra, J. M., Iulianelli, A. and Basile, A., (2012). Porous ceramic membranes for membrane reactors. in Advance Membrane Reactors, A. Basile, Editor. Chapter 8, (pp. 289-336) Woodhead Publishing Ltd: Cambridge, United Kingdom. DOI: 10.1533/9780857097330.2.298.

 2011

Duke, J., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Lu, G. Q. and Gray, P. J., (2011). Silica membranes in fuel cell systems. in Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, H.S. Nalwa, Editor. (pp. 143-161) American Scientific Publishers: Valencia, CA, USA.

Ladewig, B., Martin, D., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., (2011). Nafion nanocomposite membranes for DMFC. in Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, H.S. Nalwa, Editor. (pp. 503-515) American Scientific Publishers: Valencia, CA, USA.

Smart, S., Ding, L. P. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., (2011). Inorganic membranes for synthesis gas processing. in Advanced membrane science and technology for sustainable energy and environmental applications, A. Basile and S.P. Nunes, Editors. (pp. 214-254) Woodhead Publishing: Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Smart, S., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Baumann, S. and Meulenberg, W. A., (2011). Oxygen transport membranes: dense ceramic membranes for power plant applications. in Advanced membrane science and technology for sustainable energy and environmental applications, A. Basile and S.P. Nunes, Editors. (pp. 255-294) Woodhead Publishing: Cambridge, United Kingdom.

 2010

Zhu, B., Duke, M., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Ladewig, B. P. and Lin, Y. S., (2010). Ceramic membranes for molecular level separations in gas and liquid processing. in Encyclopedia of chemical processing, S. Lee, Editor. (pp. 1-16) Taylor & Francis: New York.

 2004

Diniz da Costa, J. C., Rudolph, V. and Lu, G. Q., (2004). Molecular Sieve Silica Membranes. in Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, H.S. Nalwa, Editor. (pp. 723-741) Marcel Dekker, Inc.: New York.

Giessler, S., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, M., (2004). Hydrophobic microporous silica membranes for gas separation and membrane reactors. in Nanoporous Materials Science and Engineering, G.Q. Lu and X.S. Zhao, Editors. (pp. 237-262) Imperial College Press: United Kingdom.

Xing, W., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Lu, M. and Yan, Z., (2004). Environmental separation and reactions: Zeolite Membranes. in Dekker Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, J.A. Schwarz, C.I. Contescu, and K. Putyera, Editors. (pp. 1157-1166) Marcel Dekker, Inc: New York.

Journal Articles

 Year
 Publication

 2012

Drobek, M., Yacou, C., Motuzas, J., Julbe, A., Ding, L. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Long term pervaporation desalination of tubular MFI zeolite membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 2012, 415-416: 816-823. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2012.05.074.

Elma, M., Yacou, C., Wang, D. K., Smart, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Microporous silica based membranes for desalination. Water 2012, 4(3): 629-649. DOI: 10.3390/w4030629.

Gao, X., Bonilla, M. R., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Bhatia, S. K., The transport of gases in macroporous α-alumina supports. Journal of Membrane Science 2012, 409–410: 24-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2012.03.003.

Haworth, P., Smart, S., Glasscock, J. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., High performance yttrium-doped BSCF hollow fibre membranes. Separation and Purification Technology 2012, 94: 16-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2012.04.005.

Haworth, P. F., Smart, S., Serra, J. M. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Combined investigation of bulk diffusion and surface exchange parameters of silver catalyst coated yttrium-doped BSCF membranes. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2012, 14(25): 9104-9111. DOI: 10.1039/c2cp41226h.

Ji, G., Wang, G., Hooman, K., Bhatia, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Computational fluid dynamics applied to high temperature hydrogen separation membranes. Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering 2012, 6(1): 3-12. DOI: 10.1007/s11705-011-1161-5.

Lin, C. X. C., Ding, L. P., Smart, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Cobalt oxide silica membranes for desalination. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2012, 368(1): 70-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2011.10.041.

Pan, J. H., Zhang, X., Du, A. J., Bai, H., Ng, J. and Sun, D., A hierarchically assembled mesoporous ZnO hemisphere array and hollow microspheres for photocatalytic membrane water filtration. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2012, 14(20): 7481-7489. DOI: 10.1039/C2CP40997F.

Rufford, T. E., Smart, S., Watson, G. C. Y., Graham, B. F., Boxall, J., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and May, E. F., The removal of CO2 and N2 from natural gas: A review of conventional and emerging process technologies. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 2012, 94: 123-154. DOI: 10.1016/j.petrol.2012.06.016.

Smart, S., Vente, J. F. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., High temperature H2/CO2 separation using cobalt oxide silica membranes. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2012, 37(17): 12700-12707. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2012.06.031.

Vasconcelos, D. C. L., Nunes, E. H. M., Sabioni, A. C. S., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Vasconcelos, W. L., Structural characterization and corrosion behavior of stainless steel coated with sol-gel titania. Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance 2012, 21(3): 411-417. DOI: 10.1007/s11665-011-9919-y.

Yacou, C., Smart, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Long term performance cobalt oxide silica membrane module for high temperature H2 separation. Energy and Environmental Science 2012, 5(2): 5820-5832. DOI: 10.1039/c2ee03247c.

 2011

Bram, M., Brands, K., Demeusy, T., Zhao, L., Meulenberg, W. A., Pauls, J., Göttlicher, G., Peinemann, K. V., Smart, S., Buchkremer, H. P. and Stöver, D., Testing of nanostructured gas separation membranes in the flue gas of a post-combustion power plant. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 2011, 5(1): 37-48. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijggc.2010.08.003.

Darmawan, A., Smart, S., Julbe, A. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Iron oxide silica derived from sol-gel synthesis. Materials 2011, 4(2): 448-456. DOI: 10.3390/ma4020448

Haworth, P., Smart, S., Glasscock, J. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Yttrium doped BSCF membranes for oxygen separation. Separation and Purification Technology 2011, 81(1): 88-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2011.07.007.

Ladewig, B. P., Tan, Y. H., Lin, C. X. C., Ladewig, K., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Smart, S., Preparation, characterization and performance of templated silica membranes in non-osmotic desalination. Materials 2011, 4(5): 845-856. DOI: 10.3390/ma4040845.

Leo, A., Liu, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Production of pure oxygen from BSCF hollow fiber membranes using steam sweep. Separation and Purification Technology 2011, 78(2): 220-227. DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2011.02.006.

Leo, A., Smart, S., Liu, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., High performance perovskite hollow fibres for oxygen separation. Journal of Membrane Science 2011, 368(1-2): 64-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2010.11.002.

Meng, B., Wang, Z., Liu, Y., Tan, X., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Liu, S., Preparation and oxygen permeation properties of SrCo0.9Nb0.1O3−δ hollow fibre membranes. Separation and Purification Technology 2011, 78(2): 175-180. DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2011.01.043.

Sunarso, J., Liu, S., Lin, Y. S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., High performance BaBiScCo hollow fibre membranes for oxygen transport. Energy and Environmental Science 2011, 4(7): 2516-2519. DOI: 10.1039/c1ee01180d.

Sunarso, J., Wang, G. X., Liu, S., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Rudolph, V., Oxygen transport through dense BaBi0.05Sc0.1Co0.85O3-δ ceramic membrane. Chemical Engineering Science 2011, 66(10): 2091-2097. DOI: 10.1016/j.ces.2011.02.014.

Uhlmann, D., Smart, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., H2S stability and separation performance of cobalt oxide silica membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 2011, 380(1-2): 48-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2011.06.025.

Yacou, C., Sunarso, J., Lin, C. X. C., Smart, S., Liu, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Palladium surface modified La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ hollow fibres for oxygen separation. Journal of Membrane Science 2011, 380(1-2): 223-231. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2011.07.008.

Yang, F. S., Zhang, Z. X., Wang, G. X., Bao, Z. W., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Rudolph, V., Numerical study of a metal hydride heat transformer for low-grade heat recovery: Simulation of a MH heat transformer. Applied Thermal Engineering 2011, 31(14-15): 2749-2756. DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2011.04.047.

 2010

Battersby, S., Ladewig, B. P., Duke, M., Rudolph, V. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Membrane reactor modelling, validation and simulation for the WGS reaction using metal doped silica membranes. Asia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering 2010, 5(1): 83-92. DOI: 10.1002/apj.382.

Brands, K., Uhlmann, D., Smart, S., Bram, M. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Long-term flue gas exposure effects of silica membranes on porous steel substrate. Journal of Membrane Science 2010, 359(1-2): 110-114. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2010.02.065.

Duke, M. C., Ladewig, B., Smart, S., Rudolph, V. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Assessment of postcombustion carbon capture technologies for power generation. Frontiers of Chemical Engineering in China 2010, 4(2): 184-195. DOI: 10.1007/s11705-009-0234-1.

Liu, W., Feng, B., Wu, Y., Wang, G., Barry, J. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Synthesis of sintering-resistant sorbents for CO2 capture. Environmental Science and Technology 2010, 44(8): 3093-3097. DOI: 10.1021/es903436v.

Liu, W. G., Low, N. W. L., Feng, B., Wang, G. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Calcium precursors for the production of CaO sorbents for multicycle CO2 capture. Environmental Science and Technology 2010, 44(2): 841-847. DOI: 10.1021/es902426n.

McLellan, B. C., Dicks, A. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Atmospheric and hydrological transport modelling of SOx emissions in a unique verification context. AIChE Journal 2010, 56(3): 815-824. DOI: 10.1002/aic.11985.

Smart, S., Lin, C. X. C., Ding, L., Thambimuthu, K. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Ceramic membranes for gas processing in coal gasification. Energy and Environmental Science 2010, 3(3): 268-278. DOI: 10.1039/b924327e.

Sunarso, J., Liu, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Structure effect on the oxygen permeation properties of barium bismuth iron oxide membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 2010, 351(1–2): 44-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2010.01.026.

Sunarso, J., Motuzas, J., Liu, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Bi-doping effects on the structure and oxygen permeation properties of BaSc0.1Co0.9O3−δ perovskite membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 2010, 361(1–2): 120-125. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2010.06.001.

Uhlmann, D., Smart, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., High temperature steam investigation of cobalt oxide silica membranes for gas separation. Separation and Purification Technology 2010, 76(2): 171-178. DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2010.10.004.

Zhang, Y., Gao, X., Xiang, L., Zhang, Y. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Study on composite membranes with high selective permeance properties. Journal of Membrane Science 2010, 346(2): 318-326. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2009.09.053.

 2009

Abdel-jawad, M. M., Macrossan, M. N. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Modelling gas purification systems employing molecular sieve silica membranes. Separation and Purification Technology 2009, 66(3): 559-564. DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2009.01.014.

Battersby, S., Smart, S., Ladewig, B., Liu, S., Duke, M. C., Rudolph, V. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Hydrothermal stability of cobalt silica membranes in a water gas shift membrane reactor. Separation and Purification Technology 2009, 66(2): 299-305. DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2008.12.020.

Battersby, S., Tasaki, T., Smart, S., Ladewig, B., Liu, S., Duke, M. C., Rudolph, V. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Performance of cobalt silica membranes in gas mixture separation. Journal of Membrane Science 2009, 329(1-2): 91-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2008.12.051.

Chen, Z., Ran, R., Shao, Z., Yu, H., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Liu, S., Further performance improvement of Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3−δ perovskite membranes for air separation. Ceramics International 2009, 35(6): 2455-2461. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2009.02.015.

Diniz da Costa, J. C., Reed, G. P. and Thambimuthu, K., High temperature gas separation membranes in coal gasification. Energy Procedia 2009, 1(1): 295-302. DOI: 10.1016/j.egypro.2009.01.041.

Duke, M. C., Campbell, R., Cheng, X., Leo, A. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Characterization and pervaporation study on ethanol separation membranes. Drying Technology 2009, 27(4): 538-541. DOI: 10.1080/07373930802715294.

Duke, M. C., O'Brien-Abraham, J., Milne, N., Zhu, B., Lin, J. Y. S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Seawater desalination performance of MFI type membranes made by secondary growth. Separation and Purification Technology 2009, 68(3): 343-350. DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2009.06.003.

Ge, L., Shao, Z., Zhang, K., Ran, R., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Liu, S., Evaluation of mixed-conducting lanthanum-strontium-cobaltite ceramic membrane for oxygen separation. AIChE Journal 2009, 55(10): 2603-2613. DOI: 10.1002/aic.11857.

Hotza, D., Leo, A., Sunarso, J. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Effect of nano-Al2O3 addition and densification of YSZ electrolytes. Journal of Nano Research 2009, 6: 115-122. DOI: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/JNanoR.6.115.

Jin, Y. G., Qiao, S. Z., Xu, Z. P., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Porous silica nanospheres functionalized with phosphonic acid as intermediate-temperature proton conductors. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2009, 113(8): 3157-3163. DOI: 10.1021/jp810112c.

Jin, Y. G., Qiao, S. Z., Xu, Z. P., Yan, Z., Huang, Y., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Phosphonic acid functionalized silicas for intermediate temperature proton conduction. Journal of Materials Chemistry 2009, 19(16): 2363-2372. DOI: 10.1039/b819379g.

Leo, A., Liu, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Development of mixed conducting membranes for clean coal energy delivery. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 2009, 3(4): 357-367. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijggc.2008.11.003.

Leo, A., Liu, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., The enhancement of oxygen flux on Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ (BSCF) hollow fibers using silver surface modification. Journal of Membrane Science 2009, 340(1-2): 148-153. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2009.05.022.

Singh, R., Ram Reddy, M. K., Wilson, S., Joshi, K., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Webley, P., High temperature materials for CO2 capture. Energy Procedia 2009, 1(1): 623-630. DOI: 10.1016/j.egypro.2009.01.082.

Sunarso, J., Liu, S., Lin, Y. S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Oxygen permeation performance of BaBiO3-δ ceramic membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 2009, 344(1-2): 281-287. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2009.08.019.

Uhlmann, D., Liu, S., Ladewig, B. P. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Cobalt-doped silica membranes for gas separation. Journal of Membrane Science 2009, 326(2): 316-321. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2008.10.015.

Wijaya, S., Duke, M. C. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Carbonised template silica membranes for desalination. Desalination 2009, 236(1-3): 291-298. DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2007.10.079.

 2008

Battersby, S., Duke, M. C., Liu, S., Rudolph, V. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Metal doped silica membrane reactor: Operational effects of reaction and permeation for the water gas shift reaction. Journal of Membrane Science 2008, 316(1–2): 46-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2007.11.021.

Duke, M. C., Pas, S. J., Hill, A. J., Lin, Y. S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Exposing the molecular sieving architecture of amorphous silica using positron annihilation spectroscopy. Advanced Functional Materials 2008, 18(23): 3818-3826. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.200800624.

Gopalakrishnan, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Hydrogen gas mixture separation by CVD silica membrane. Journal of Membrane Science 2008, 323(1): 144-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2008.06.016.

Hotza, D. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Fuel cells development and hydrogen production from renewable resources in Brazil. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2008, 33(19): 4915-4935. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2008.06.028.

Jin, Y., Qiao, S., Zhang, L., Xu, Z. P., Smart, S., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Novel Nafion composite membranes with mesoporous silica nanospheres as inorganic fillers. Journal of Power Sources 2008, 185(2): 664-669. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2008.08.094.

Katikaneni, S. P., Al-Qahtani, A. S., Pham, T. V., Adebajo, M. O., Beltramini, J., Lu, G. Q. and Diniz Da Costa, J. C., Catalytic membrane reactor for hydrogen production from liquid petroleum fuels: Bench scale studies. Saudi Aramco Journal Of Technology 2008, Spring: 35-43.

Liu, H., Tan, X., Pang, Z., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Lu, G. Q. and Liu, S., Novel dual structured mixed conducting ceramic hollow fibre membranes. Separation and Purification Technology 2008, 63(1): 243-247. DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2008.04.017.

Ram Reddy, M. K., Xu, Z. P., Lu, G. Q. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Influence of water on high-temperature CO2 capture using layered double hydroxide derivatives. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 2008, 47(8): 2630-2635. DOI: 10.1021/ie0716060.

Ram Reddy, M. K., Xu, Z. P., Lu, G. Q. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Effect of SOx adsorption on layered double hydroxides for CO2 capture. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 2008, 47(19): 7357-7360. DOI: 10.1021/ie8004226.

Sunarso, J., Baumann, S., Serra, J. M., Meulenberg, W. A., Liu, S., Lin, Y. S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Mixed ionic-electronic conducting (MIEC) ceramic-based membranes for oxygen separation. Journal of Membrane Science 2008, 320(1-2): 13-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2008.03.074.

Sunarso, J., Chen, C. Y., Wang, L. Z., Dalla Costa, R. F., Lu, G. Q. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Characterization of hybrid organic and inorganic functionalised membranes for proton conduction. Solid State Ionics 2008, 179(13-14): 477-482. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssi.2008.02.066.

Xu, Z. P., Jin, Y., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Zr(HPO4)2 based organic/inorganic nanohybrids as new proton conductors. Solid State Ionics 2008, 178(31–32): 1654-1659. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssi.2007.10.020.

2007

Abdel-jawad, M. M., Gopalakrishnan, S., Duke, M. C., Macrossan, M. N., Schneider, P. S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Flowfields on feed and permeate sides of tubular molecular sieving silica (MSS) membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 2007, 299(1-2): 229-235. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2007.04.046.

Battersby, S. E., Miller, D., Zed, M., Patch, J., Rudolph, V., Duke, M. C. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Silica membrane reactors for hydrogen processing. Advances in Applied Ceramics 2007, 106(1-2): 29-34. DOI: 10.1179/174367607X152399.

Bresolin, C. S., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Rudolph, V. and Schneider, P. S., Fourier transform method for sensitivity analysis in coal fired power plant. Energy Conversion and Management 2007, 48(10): 2699-2707. DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2007.04.024.

Chen, C.-Y., Garnica-Rodriguez, J. I., Duke, M. C., Costa, R. F. D., Dicks, A. L. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Nafion/polyaniline/silica composite membranes for direct methanol fuel cell application. Journal of Power Sources 2007, 166(2): 324-330. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2006.12.102.

Diniz da Costa, J. C., Brum, J. A. and D'Albuquerque e Castro, J., International Journal of Nanotechnology: Editorial. International Journal of Nanotechnology 2007, 4(5): 451-453.

Duke, M. C., Mee, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Performance of porous inorganic membranes in non-osmotic desalination. Water Research 2007, 41(17): 3998-4004. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2007.05.028.

Hogarth, W. H. J., Muir, S. S., Whittaker, A. K., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Drennan, J. and Lu, G. Q., Proton conduction mechanism and the stability of sol-gel titanium phosphates. Solid State Ionics 2007, 177(39-40): 3389-3394. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssi.2006.10.015.

Jin, Y., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Proton conductive composite membrane of phosphosilicate and polyvinyl alcohol. Solid State Ionics 2007, 178(13-14): 937-942. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssi.2007.04.005.

Jin, Y. G., Qiao, S. Z., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Wood, B. J., Ladewig, B. P. and Lu, G. Q., Hydrolytically stable phosphorylated hybrid silicas for proton conduction. Advanced Functional Materials 2007, 17(16): 3304-3311. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.200700350.

Ladewig, B. P., Knott, R. B., Martin, D. J., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Nafion-MPMDMS nanocomposite membranes with low methanol permeability. Electrochemistry Communications 2007, 9(4): 781-786. DOI: 10.1016/j.elecom.2006.11.015.

Ladewig, B. P., Knott, R. B., Hill, A. J., Riches, J. D., White, J. W., Martin, D. J., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Physical and electrochemical characterization of nanocomposite membranes of nafion and functionalized silicon oxide. Chemistry of Materials 2007, 19(9): 2372-2381. DOI: 10.1021/cm0628698.

Liu, S., Liu, M., Shao, Z., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Xu, Z. P., From chelating precursor to perovskite oxides and hollow fiber membranes. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 2007, 90(1): 84-91. DOI: 10.1111/j.1551-2916.2006.01372.x.

Liu, S., Liu, L., Xu, Z. P., Yu, A., Lu, G. Q. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Bioceramic macrocapsules for cell immunoisolation. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition 2007, 46(17): 3062-3065. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200604682.

Lu, G. Q., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Duke, M., Giessler, S., Socolow, R., Williams, R. H. and Kreutz, T., Inorganic membranes for hydrogen production and purification: A critical review and perspective. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2007, 314(2): 589-603. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2007.05.067.

Schneider, P. S., Duke, M. C., Liu, S., Abdel-jawad, M. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Energetics for gas separation in microporous membranes. International Journal of Nanotechnology 2007, 4(5): 468-481. DOI: 10.1504/IJNT.2007.014745.

Shoko, E., McLellan, B., Dicks, A. L. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Hydrogen from coal: Production and utilisation technologies. International Journal of Coal Geology 2006, 65(3–4): 213-222. DOI: 10.1016/j.coal.2005.05.004.

Sunarso, J., Chen, C. Y., Tran, A. T. T., Wong, M. S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Proton conductive composite membranes. International Journal of Nanotechnology 2007, 4(5): 597-608. DOI: 10.1504/IJNT.2007.014754.

Zeng, P., Ran, R., Chen, Z., Gu, H., Shao, Z., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Liu, S., Significant effects of sintering temperature on the performance of La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3−δ oxygen selective membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 2007, 302(1–2): 171-179. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2007.06.047.

 2006

Battersby, S., Teixeira, P. W., Beltramini, J., Duke, M. C., Rudolph, V. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., An analysis of the Peclet and Damkohler numbers for dehydrogenation reactions using molecular sieve silica (MSS) membrane reactors. Catalysis Today 2006, 116(1): 12-17. DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2006.04.004.

Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Pagan, R. J., Sustainability metrics for coal power generation in Australia. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2006, 84(2 B): 143-149. DOI: 10.1205/psep.04126.

Duke, M. C., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Do, D. D., Gray, P. G. and Lu, G. Q., Hydrothermally robust molecular sieve silica for wet gas separation. Advanced Functional Materials 2006, 16(9): 1215-1220. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.200500456.

Duke, M. C., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Lu, G. Q. and Gray, P. G., Modeling hydrogen separation in high temperature silica membrane systems. AIChE Journal 2006, 52(5): 1729-1735. DOI: 10.1002/aic.10777.

Garnica Rodriguez, J. I., Dicks, A. L., Duke, M. C. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Silica nafion modified composite membranes for direct methanol fuel cells. Developments in Chemical Engineering and Mineral Processing 2006, 14(1-2): 119-131.

Joyce, J., Dixon, T. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Characterization of sugar cane waste biomass derived chars from pressurized gasification. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2006, 84(6 B): 429-439. DOI: 10.1205/psep05021.

Leo, A., Liu, S., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Shao, Z., Oxygen permeation through perovskite membranes and the improvement of oxygen flux by surface modification. Science and Technology of Advanced Materials 2006, 7(8): 819-825. DOI: 10.1016/j.stam.2006.11.013.

Liu, S. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Oxygen separation for clean coal enabling technologies. AusIMM Bulletin 2006(6): 20-21.

Liu, S., Tan, X., Shao, Z. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ ceramic hollow-fiber membranes for oxygen permeation. AIChE Journal 2006, 52(10): 3452-3461. DOI: 10.1002/aic.10966.

Ram Reddy, M. K., Xu, Z. P., Lu, G. Q. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Layered double hydroxides for CO2 capture: Structure evolution and regeneration. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2006, 45(22): 7504-7509. DOI: 10.1021/ie060757k.

Tran, A. T. T., Duke, M., Gray, P. G. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Proton conductivities of titanium phosphate at high temperature for PEMFC. Developments in Chemical Engineering and Mineral Processing 2006, 14(1-2): 101-118.

Tran, A. T. T., Duke, M. C., Gray, P. G. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Characterization of titanium phosphate as electrolytes in fuel cells. International Journal of Modern Physics B 2006, 20(25-27): 4147-4152.

 2005 & Prior

Hogarth, W. H. J., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Solid acid membranes for high temperature (>140 °C) proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources 2005, 142(1-2): 223-237. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2004.11.020.

Hogarth, W. H. J., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Drennan, J. and Lu, G. Q., Proton conductivity of mesoporous sol-gel zirconium phosphates for fuel cell applications. Journal of Materials Chemistry 2005, 15(7): 754-758. DOI: 10.1039/b413413n.

McLellan, B., Shoko, E., Dicks, A. L. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Hydrogen production and utilisation opportunities for Australia. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2005, 30(6): 669-679. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2004.06.008.

Dicks, A. L., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Simpson, A. and McLellan, B., Fuel cells, hydrogen and energy supply in Australia. Journal of Power Sources 2004, 131(1–2): 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2003.11.079.

Diniz da Costa, J. C., Coombs, S., Lim, J. and Lu, G. Q., Characterisation of xerogels derived from sucrose templated sol-gel synthesis. Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology 2004, 31(1): 215-218. DOI: 10.1023/B:JSST.0000047990.55090.c5.

Diniz da Costa, J. C., Lu, G. Q. and Rudolph, V., Permeation of binary gas mixtures in ultramicroporous membranes. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2004, 4(3): 265-269. DOI: 10.1166/jnn.2004.036.

Diniz da Costa, J. C., Prasad, P. and Pagan, R. J., Modern environmental improvement pathways for the coal power generation industry in Australia. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2004, 82(3 B): 191-199. DOI: 10.1205/095758204323065957.

Duke, M., Rudolph, V., Lu, G. Q. and Diniz da Costa, J. C., Scale-up of molecular sieve silica membranes for reformate purification. AIChE Journal 2004, 50(10): 2630-2634. DOI: 10.1002/aic.10200.

Duke, M. C., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Lu, G. Q., Petch, M. and Gray, P., Carbonised template molecular sieve silica membranes in fuel processing systems: Permeation, hydrostability and regeneration. Journal of Membrane Science 2004, 241(2): 325-333. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2004.06.004.

Kartini, I., Menzies, D., Blake, D., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Meredith, P., Riches, J. D. and Lu, G. Q., Hydrothermal seeded synthesis of mesoporous titania for application in dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSCs). Journal of Materials Chemistry 2004, 14(19): 2917-2921. DOI: 10.1039/b406286h.

Kartini, I., Meredith, P., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Riches, J. D. and Lu, G. Q. M., Formation of mesostructured titania thin films using isopropoxide precursors. Current Applied Physics 2004, 4(2-4): 160-162. DOI: 10.1016/j.cap.2003.10.021.

Kartini, I., Meredith, P., Zhao, X. S., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., A two-step sol-gel method for synthesis of nanoporous TiO2. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2004, 4(3): 270-274. DOI: 10.1166/jnn.2004.037.

McLellan, B., Diniz da Costa, J. C., Dicks, A. L., Rudolph, V., Pagan, R. J., Sheng, C. and Wall, T. F., Hydrogen economy options for Australia. Developments in Chemical Engineering and Mineral Processing 2004, 12(5-6): 447-460.

Shoko, E., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and White, E. T., Optimization of the reaction rate in the photocatalytic degradation of sodium lignosulfonate in a TiO2 slurry reactor: A multivariate study with response surface analysis. Developments in Chemical Engineering and Mineral Processing 2004, 12(5-6): 475-489.

Giessler, S., Jordan, L., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q. M., Performance of hydrophobic and hydrophilic silica membrane reactors for the water gas shift reaction. Separation and Purification Technology 2003, 32(1-3): 255-264. DOI: 10.1016/S1383-5866(03)00069-8.

Diniz da Costa, J. C., Lu, G. Q., Rudolph, V. and Lin, Y. S., Novel molecular sieve silica (MSS) membranes: characterisation and permeation of single-step and two-step sol-gel membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 2002, 198(1): 9-21. DOI: 10.1016/S0376-7388(01)00565-8.

Diniz da Costa, J. C., Lu, G. Q. and Rudolph, V., Characterisation of templated xerogels for molecular sieve application. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 2001, 179(2–3): 243-251. DOI: 10.1016/s0927-7757(00)00644-0.

Giessler, S., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Hydrophobicity of templated silica xerogels for molecular sieving applications. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2001, 1(3): 331-336. DOI: 10.1166/jnn.2001.037.

Diniz da Costa, J. C., Lu, G. Q., Zhu, H. Y. and Rudolph, V., Novel composite membranes for gas separation: Preparation and performance. Journal of Porous Materials 1999, 6(2): 143-151. DOI: 10.1023/a:1009635506549.

Patents

 Year
 Publication

 2012

Pham, T. V., Katikaneni, S., Beltramini, J. N., Adebajo, M. O., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Patent: Authorthermal Reforming (ATR) Catalytic Structures. (2012) US 2012/0258857 A1 and WO 2012/142006 A1.

Pham, T. V., Katikaneni, S., Beltramini, J. N., Adebajo, M. O., Diniz da Costa, J. C. and Lu, G. Q., Patent: Metal supported silica based membrane reactor assembly. (2012) US 2012/0258037 A1  and WO 2012/142009 A1.

FIMLab Staff

Directors
Current Research Staff
Current Students
Visiting Scholars


Directors

  • Professor João (Joe) Da Costa, Director
  • Dr. Simon Smart, Deputy Director
 

 Current Research Staff

  • Dr. Christelle YacouPostdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr. David WangPostdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr. Julius MotuzasPostdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr. Dana MartensPostdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr. Yen Tran Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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Current Students

  • Ben BallingerPhD Student
  • Adi DarmawanPhD Student
  • Muthia ElmaPhD Student
  • Xuechao Gao, PhD Student
  • Guozhao Ji, PhD Student
  • Gianni Olguin Contreras, PhD Student
  • Liang Liu, PhD Student
  • Diego R. Schmeda Lopez, PhD Student
  • Yingjun (Ingrid) Song, PhD Student
  • Yen Thien Chua, PhD Student
  • Shengnan (Alice) Wang, PhD Student
  • Nor Aida Zubir, PhD Student

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Visiting Scholars

  • Dr. Katharina BrandsVisiting Student (Germany)
  • Dr. Julie GlasscockVisiting Scientist (Denmark)
  • Dr. Felix HaulerVisiting Student (Germany)
  • Prof. Dachamir HotzaVisiting Academic (Brazil)
  • Jeroen JansenVisiting Student (Holland)
  • Priscila Lemes RachadelVisiting Student (Brazil)
  • Vincent MathyVisiting Student (France)
  • Dr. Maria Lucia (Malu) Pereira AntunesVisiting Academic (Brazil)
  • Wouter PostVisiting Student (Holland)
  • Giulliani Sachinelli GarciaVisiting Student (Brazil)
  • Prof. Paulo Smith SchneiderVisiting Academic (Brazil)
  • Paula Werneck TeixeiraVisiting Student (Brazil)
  • Prof. Yuqing Zhang​Visiting Academic (China)

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International Collaborations

FIMLab at the University of Queensland and the Forschungszentrum Jülich (Research Centre Jülich or FZJ) in Germany - a member of the Helmholtz Research Centres, have embarked on a joint research and development collaborative effort. This project represents a strategic alliance between excellent research teams with complementary skills and expertise.

The overall aim of this project is to deliver nanostructured membranes on porous metal substrates for high temperature gas separation, this combination is hoped to address the current limitations of the technology in this field, including:

  • Economical and reliable sealing technology for gas tight systems operating at high temperature.
  • Simple scale up of membrane systems
  • Stability of metal oxide layers for industrial applications.

FZJ contributes to the project through their knowledge of ceramic coating technology and porous metal substrates, while FIMLab supply our nanostructured molecular sieve silica membrane technology.

FIMLab collaboration

Talking to partners from Forschungszentrum Jülich in the main lab

One of the most recent membranes to be produced through this collaboration was tested for over 1100 hours in a flue gas stream of the EnBW Rheinhafenkraftwerk Karlsruhe coal fired power plant. The flue gas stream consisted of CO2 and N2 and the membrane operated within expected parameters at all times. These results are extremely promising and demonstrate the strength of the research teams involved.

FIMLab collaboration

Steel substrate membrane test setup at the EnBW Rheinhafenkraftwerk Karlsruhe coal fired power plant

FIMLab supports our PhD students in visiting other universities and research centres. This helps to expand their knowledge, world view and offers them a chance to work with other world experts in the field outside their normal environment at UQ. This collaboration with FZJ has so far seen three PhD students spend time at their partner institute (two students from FZJ have visited FIMLab and one student from FIMLab has visited FZJ). Images from:

  • Presentation by Martin Bram and Wilhelm Meulenberg of FZJ
  • Brands, K., Uhlmann, D., Smart, S., Bram, M. and Diniz da Costa, J. C. (2010) Long-term flue gas exposure effects of silica membranes on porous steel substrate. Journal of Membrane Science, 2591-2:110-114
Conferences

The students and staff are encouraged to attend an international conference relevant to their research area. In particular each phD student is afforded to attend at least one international conference as a part of their study. FIMLab has shown a continued presence at such membrane conferences such as:

FIMLab conference attendees

Attendees of the International Conference on Inorganic Membranes (ICIM) in Tokyo, Japan, 18-22 Aug 2008, including Prof. Joe da Costa, Dr. Simon Smart, Dr. Suraj Gopalikrishnan, Dr. Tsutomu Tasaki; students Scott Battersby, Adrian Leo, David Uhlmann, and Jaka Sunarso; and previous postdoctoral researcher A/Prof. Mikel Duke.

FIMLab conference attendees

Attendees of the Membrane Society of Australasia Student Symposium, in Wollongong, Australia, 18-20th Feb 2010: including FIMLab students David Uhlmann, Jaka Sunarso, and Patrick Haworth​

Facilities

At FIMLab, we have two laboratories:

  • the main lab (or "level 5") dedicated to membrane synthesis, permeation testing, and the characterisation of membranes and xerogels
  • the wet chemistry lab (or "level 3") dedicated to sol-gel and hollow fibre synthesis

We have an extensive range of membrane research equipment in the laboratories as listed below, but as we are located at the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland we also have access to a wide range of other university facilities and analytical techniques. This includes state of the art microscopy and microanalysis techniques through the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, and the expert manufacturing processes of the Chemical Engineering workshop and the University Glass Blowers for the production of custom equipment. 

People interested in using our facilities and/or collaborating with us should contact Prof Joe da Costa or Dr Simon Smart. 

FIMLab Laboratory Equipment

Standard synthesis equipment of:

  • Filtered (dust-free) air cabinet
  • 3 dedicated synthesis furnaces
  • 5+ membrane testing furnaces
  • Planetary ball mill
  • Weight press

Standard analysis equipment for:

  • Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis)
  • Gas chromatogrophy (GC)
  • Nitrogen adsorption
  • Digital optical microscopy

Our custom made rigs for:

  • Dip coating
  • Hollow fibre production
  • Single gas permeation
  • Multi-gas permeation
  • Oxygen permeation
  • Vapour adsorption
  • Desalination

And the safety features of:

  • State-of-the-art reticulated gas system
  • 3 Large walk-in fume cabinets
  • 4 Benchtop ventilation extraction points
  • Lab atmosphere monitoring of H2, O2, CO, CO2
  • Automatic and manual shut-off systems
  • Safety showers
Standard synthesis equipment 

Our wet chemistry lab is where we get down and dirty and actually make most of our membrane materials. From their most basic ingredients, all the perovskites and hollow fibres are manufactured in this lab as are the sol-gels for our metal silica membranes. 

In the main lab we then dip coat and set our membranes using high temperature furnaces within the safety of the large fume cupboards, and subsequently we can then analyse and test our formed membranes and membrane reactors. As the manufacture of our metal silica membranes requires a dust free environment, all dip coating processes are perofrmed within a filtered air laminar flow cabinet.

Standard analysis equipment 

The desired traits of our experimental membranes can be approximately analysed before the often cost and time intensive process of gas permeation testing. In particular a quick analysis of the nitrogen adsorption of membrane material will indicate the porousity and comparitive pore widths of a membrane. 

From these initial screening techniques, selected membrane compositions and synthesis techniques are taken to testing for gas or liquid permeation testing. Afterwards these standard analysis techniques help give an understanding of the processes behind membrane success and failure, particularly when taken in context with the standard analysis of membranes as reported in literature from other research organisations. 

Gas chromatography is here a special case, as gas chromatography is used to analyse the composition of gas streams of a currently running gas separation membrane experiment.

Custom made rigs 

Utilising both our own knowledge of hammers, drills, and swagelok, and the considerable experience and equipment of the Chemical Engineering workshop, several highly specific yet flexible rigs have been created for hollow fibre production, gas permeation testing, desalination, and even vapour adsorption. 

In particular, our multi-gas permeation rig is designed to mix and measure (with both rotameters and mass flow controllers) gas flow, of a wide variety of different gases including H2, He, N2, Air, CO, CO2, O2and custom mixtures. 

These rigs often require not only specialised hardware, but also software: the single gas rig, oxygen permeation rig, and vapour adsorption rig all having custom code written by phD students to interface the rig hardware with controls and data collecting software.

Lab safety features 

FIMLab's main laboratory boasts state-of-the-art gas safety equipment, where all gases are reticulated into the lab from cylinders located in gas cylinder cages at the foot of the Chemical Engineering building. These gases can then be used from gas valve stations located on the laboratory benches and within the 3 large walk-in fumehoods. 

The gas extraction system of the lab is capable of aggresively extracting all of the more dangerous gases used only within the fumehoods, and also from 4 gas extraction points located along the lab benchtops. The pressure difference created by this extraction system is enough to make closing the front lab door noticeably more difficult as air tries to rush into the lab. 

This reticulated gas system is connected to an automatic and manual shutoff system capable of shutting off all gases and shutting down all power to the lab with the exception of the fumehood extraction fans, to quickly stop and remove all reticulated gases in use.

Contact FIMLab

FIMLab
Level 3, Chemical Engineering Building (Building 74),
The University of Queensland,
St Lucia, Brisbane QLD 4072,
Australia. 

General Enquiries

Professor Joe Diniz da Costa
Phone: (+61) 7 3365 6960
Email: j.dacosta@uq.edu.au

or

Dr Simon Smart
Phone: (+61) 7 3365 8835
Emails.smart@uq.edu.au