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Ingeniería e Investigación

Print version ISSN 0120-5609


FONTALVO, J. Using user models in Matlab® within the Aspen Plus® interface with an Excel® link. Ing. Investig. [online]. 2014, vol.34, n.2, pp.39-43. ISSN 0120-5609.

Process intensification and new technologies require tools for process design that can be integrated into well-known simulation software, such as Aspen Plus®. Thus, unit operations that are not included in traditional Aspen Plus software packages can be simulated with Matlab® and integrated within the Aspen Plus interface. In this way, the user can take advantage of all of the tools of Aspen Plus, such as optimization, sensitivity analysis and cost estimation. This paper gives a detailed description of how to implement this integration. The interface between Matlab and Aspen Plus is accomplished by sending the relevant information from Aspen Plus to Excel, which feeds the information to a Matlab routine. Once the Matlab routine processes the information, it is returned to Excel and to Aspen Plus. This paper includes the Excel and Matlab template files so the reader can implement their own simulations. By applying the protocol described here, a hybrid distillation-vapor permeation system has been simulated as an example of the applications that can be implemented. For the hybrid system, the effect of membrane selectivity on membrane area and reboiler duty for the partial dehydration of ethanol is studied. Very high selectivities are not necessarily required for an optimum hybrid distillation and vapor permeation system.

Keywords : Matlab; Aspen Plus; process simulation; process intensification; hybrid systems; distillation; membrane technology.

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