Ultrasound-assisted regeneration of activated alumina/water adsorption pair for drying and dehumidification processes

Hooman Daghooghi-Mobarakeh, Mark Miner, Liping Wang, Robert Wang, Patrick E. Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Desorption processes are important part of all processes which involve utilization of solid adsorbents and are inherently energy-intensive. Here we investigate how those energy requirements can be reduced through the application of ultrasound for the activated alumina/water adsorption pair. To analyze the energy-saving characteristics of ultrasound, the ultrasonic-power-to-total power ratios of 0.2, 0.25, 0.4 and 0.5 were investigated and the results compared with those of no ultrasound at the same total input power. Duplicate experiments were performed at three nominal frequencies of 28, 40 and 80 kHz to observe the influence of frequency on regeneration dynamics. Regarding moisture removal, the highest desorption was achieved at the lowest ultrasonic-to-total power ratio corresponding to about 27% reduction in energy consumption. A nonlinear inverse proportionality was observed between the effectiveness of ultrasound and the frequency at which it is applied. Regarding regeneration temperature, application of ultrasound at higher ultrasonic-to-total power ratios of 0.4 and 0.5 reduces the regeneration temperature without taking a toll on desorption. Based on the variation of desorption dynamics with ultrasonic power and frequency, a novel ultrasound-enhanced desorption mechanism involving adsorbate surface energy is proposed and a relationship between acoustically induced strain and adsorbate surface energy is introduced. An analytical model that describes the desorption process is developed based on the experimental data. From this a novel efficiency metric is proposed, which can be employed to justify incorporating ultrasound in regeneration and drying processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106769
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Activated alumina
  • Adsorption potential
  • Desorption
  • Drying
  • Surface energy
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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