Preliminary Characterization of Corn Cob Ash as an Alternative Material for Ceramic Hollow Fiber Membrane (CHFM/CCA)


1 Integrated Material and Process, Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center (AMMC), Faculty of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, 86400 Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia

2 Faculty of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, 86400 Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia

3 Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia


Currently, exchanging trends in the expensive usage of ceramic materials such as alumina, zirconia etc. into economical ceramic raw sources have been studied extensively over the last decade for various technological applications. Despite the fact that this ceramic compound or elements offer a great performance and stability, especially at high temperature and corrosive or acidic conditions, the basic commercial price of this compound which is a little bit higher have hindered the used of these materials. Thus interest in fabricating of bio-ceramic membrane using corn cob ash, an agricultural by product not only offered the development of new low cost materials but also able to enhance better properties and performance. The suitability of corn cob ash as an alternative material for ceramic hollow fiber membrane fabrication (CHFM/CCA) as a main substrate was investigated via combined phase inversion and sintering technique based on several controlled operating parameters. The effects of selected bore fluid (5, 10, 15 and 20 mL/min) and different sintering temperature (800˚C, 900˚C, 1000˚C, 1100˚C) towards membrane structure and properties were observed and studied. Interestingly, analysis of the SEM morphology showed that the potential of the main constituents of corn cob ash which highly consisted of silica, alumina and calcium oxide are able to improve the properties of CHFM/CCA by lowering sintering temperature (1000˚C) as compared to the standard CHFM bodies which normally has sintering temperature higher than 1200 ºC. Thus, the used of corn cob ash not only able to enhance better ceramic properties but also able to reduce sintering temperature. Reduction in energy consumption with slightly reduced sintering temperature also will offer a better sustainable process through recycling abundant waste materials as well as the emphasis on the green resources. In respect, the bio-material of corn cob ash is capable to replace the commercial ceramic membrane materials for membrane applications by considering the availability of this agro waste product as the main crops in most countries in the world.


  1. Finnigan, T. and Skudder, P., “Using ceramic microfiltration for the filtration of beer and recovery of extract”, Filtration & separation, Vol. 29, No. 3, (1989), 198-200.
  2. David, C., Arivazhagan, M., and Ibrahim, M., "Spent wash decolourization using nano-Al2O3/kaolin photocatalyst: Taguchi and ANN approach", Journal of Saudi Chemical Society, Vol. 19, No. 5, (2015), 537-548.
  3. Hubadillah, S. K., Othman, M. H. D., Harun, Z., Ismail, A., Rahman, M. A., and Jaafar, J., "A novel green ceramic hollow fiber membrane (CHFM) derived from rice husk ash as combined adsorbent-separator for efficient heavy metals removal." Ceramics International, Vol. 43, No. 5, (2017), 4716-4720.
  4. Abdulhameed, M. A., Othman, M. H. D., Ismail, A. F., Matsuura, T., Harun, Z., Rahman, M. A., Puteh, M. H., Jaafar, J., Rezaei, M., and Hubadillah, S. K., "Carbon dioxide capture using a superhydrophobic ceramic hollow fibre membrane for gas-liquid contacting process", Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 140, (2017), 1731-1738.
  5. Cerneaux, S., Struzynska, I., Kujawski, W. M., Persin, M., and Larbot, A., "Comparison of various membrane distillation methods for desalination using hydrophobic ceramic membranes", Journal of Membrane Science, Vol.337, No. 1, (2009), 55-60.
  6. 6.        Huang, C. Y., Ko, C. C., Chen, L. H., Huang, C. T., Tung, K. L. and Liao, Y. C., "A simple coating method to prepare superhydrophobic layers on ceramic alumina for vacuum membrane distillation." Separation and Purification Technology, (2016).
  7. Zhu, Z., Xiao, J., He, W., Wang, T., Wei, Z. and Dong, Y., "A phase-inversion casting process for preparation of tubular porous alumina ceramic membranes", Journal of the European Ceramic Society, Vol. 25, No. 11, (2015), 3187-3194.
  8. Jeong, Y., Lee, S., Hong, S. and Park, C., "Preparation, characterization and application of low-cost pyrophyllite-alumina composite ceramic membranes for treating low-strength domestic wastewater", Journal of Membrane Science, Vol. 536, (2017), 108-115.
  9. Prasara-A, J. and Gheewala, S. H., "Sustainable utilization of rice husk ash from power plants: A review", Journal of Cleaner Production, (2016).
  10. Lorente-Ayza, M. M., Sanchez, E., Sanz, V., and Mestre, S., "Influence of starch content on the properties of low-cost microfiltration ceramic membranes", Ceramics International, Vol. 41, No. 10, (2015), 13064-13073.
  11. Hubadillah, S. K., Harun, Z., Othman, M. H. D., Ismail, A. and Gani, P., "Effect of kaolin particle size and loading on the characteristics of kaolin ceramic support prepared via phase inversion technique", Journal of Asian Ceramic Societies, Vol. 4, No. 2, (2016), 164-177.
  12. Prasara-A, J. and Gheewala, S. H., "Sustainable utilization of rice husk ash from power plants: A review", Journal of Cleaner Production, (2016).
  13. Tay, J. H. and K.-Y. Show, K. Y., "Use of ash derived from oil-palm waste incineration as a cement replacement material", Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Vol. 13, No.1, (1995), 27-36.
  14. Mst. Sharmin Mostari, Zaman, T., Sen, A., Md. Rahat Al Hassan, “Synthesis and characterization of porcelain body developed from rice husk ash”, International Journal of Engineering, Transactions A: Basics, Vol. 31, No. 1, (2018), 25-31.
  15. Umar Salihi, I., Rahman Mohamed Kutty, S., M. Hasnain Isa, M., “Equilibrium and kinetic studies on lead (II) adsorption by sugarcane bagasse derived activated carbon”, International Journal of Engineering, Transactions B: Applications, Vol. 30, No. 11, (2017), 1647-1653.
  16. Shim, J., Velmurugan, P. and Oh, B. T., "Extraction and physical characterization of amorphous silica made from corn cob ash at variable pH conditions via sol gel processing", Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Vol. 30, (2015), 249-253.
  17. Adesanya, D. and Raheem, A., "Development of corn cob ash blended cement", Construction and Building Materials, Vol. 23, No. 1, (2009), 347-352.
  18. Adesanya, D. and Raheem, A., "A study of the permeability and acid attack of corn cob ash blended cements", Construction and Building Materials, Vol. 24, No. 3, (2010), 403-409.
  19. John T. Kevern and Kejin, W., “Investigation of corn cob ash as a supplementary cementitious material in concrete”, Second International Conference on Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies, June 28-June 30, 2010.
  20. Suwanmaneechot, P., Nochaiya, T., and Julphunthong, P., “Improvement, characterization and use of waste corn cob ash in cement-based materials”, IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering, Vol. 103, (2015).
  21. Antonio, P., Ryan, Y., Ellie, F. and Taher, A. L., “Investigating effects of introduction of corncob ash in portland cements concrete: mechanical and Thermal Properties”, American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Vol. 7, No. 1, (2014), 137-148.
  22. Pointner, M., Kuttner, P., Obrlik, T., Jager, A. and Kahr, H., "Composition of corncobs as a substrate for fermentation of biofuels", ISSN 1406-894X, Vol. 12, No. 2, (2009), 391-396.
  23. Kumar, A., Wang, L., Dzenis, Y. A., Jones, D. D. and Hanna, M. A., "Thermogravimetric characterization of corn stover as gasification and pyrolysis feedstock", Biomass and Bioenergy, Vol. 32, No. 5, (2008), 460-467.
  24. Nikzad, M., Movagharnejad, K., Najafpour, G. D. and Talebnia, F., “Comparative studies on the effect of pretreatment of rice husk on enzymatic digestibility and bioethanol production”, International Journal of Engineering, Transactions B: Applications, Vol. 26, No. 5, (May 2013), 455-464.
  25. Wanitwattanarumlug, B., Luengnaruemitchai, A. and Wongkasemjit, S., "Characterization of corn cobs from microwave and potassium hydroxide pretreatment", World Academy Science Engineering Technology, Vol. 64, (2012), 592-596.
  26. Mohanraj, K., Kannan, S., Barathan, S. and Sivakumar, G.,. "Preparation and characterization of nano SiO2 from corn cob ash by precipitation method,", (2012).
  27. Li, K., “ Ceramic membranes for separation and reaction”, John Wiley & Sons, (2007).
  28. Kingsbury, B. F. and Li, K., "A morphological study of ceramic hollow fibre membranes", Journal of Membrane Science, Vol. 328, No. 1, (2009), 134-140.
  29. Javadpour, J., Hosseinzadeh, M. and Marghussian, V. G., “Effect of particle size distribution and chemical composition on properties of magnesia-chromite bricks”, International Journal of Engineering Transactions B: Applications, Vol. 15, No. 2, (July 2002-183), 183-190.
  30. Zawati, H., Kamarudin, N. H. and Mohd Taib, H., “Effect of rice husk on fired ceramic shell strength”, Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 795, (2013), 732-737.