A mathematical model for an ultrasound-assisted vapor liquid equilibrium (VLE) system developed in Aspen Custom Modeler is exported to Aspen Plus flowsheeting environment to form a block in the software library to represent a single stage flash separation unit. The block is then arranged in series to mimic an ultrasonically intensified distillation process. As a case study, an ethanol/ethyl acetate separation process is examined. The results show that a 99 mol% ethyl acetate recovery is established when a series of 27 flash VLE devices are used. The system is also evaluated for other minimum boiling azeotropic mixtures, and consistent results are obtained, thus revealing the potentials of ultrasound-assisted system as an alternative strategy for azeotropic mixture separations.
Funding statement: Funding: This work was supported by Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE) under PRGS scheme No. 4L612.
The contribution of the Ministry of Oil, Iraq in providing scholarships for the study is acknowledged.
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