Ceramic membranes are a relatively new technology being developed in the filtration field. The following article comprises a thorough patents review on the topic from 2001 up to the present. Their importance lies on ceramic materials durability when well-employed, their resistance to high temperature operations and aggressive media, and the wide applications range they present. The patents surveyed have been classified in groups, depending on the separation being carried out in each case. The first group identified is “gas-gas streams”, where gas separation was considered. Others such as “liquid-liquid streams”, where water treatment and ammonia purification, for instance, are covered, “liquid-solid” and “gas-solid”, where different particles cleaners are studied, are also contained within the index. Although undoubtedly, the most important point of them all is “separation with reaction”, as it is becoming quite relevant industrially speaking. A reaction takes place within the separation system, and then valuable products are separated by the ceramic membrane. The last applications described correspond to some specific applications which are not already industrially established. Modified Electro-dialysis system and ceramic membranes used as heat exchange or in the medical field as a bone regeneration method are some of them. Finally, the review article concludes with future important development on this field being discussed.
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.