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dc.contributor.advisorAlexander H. Slocum.en_US
dc.contributor.authorHaji, Maha Niametullahen_US
dc.contributor.otherWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2017-10-10T19:14:48Z
dc.date.available2017-10-10T19:14:48Z
dc.date.copyright2017en_US
dc.date.issued2017en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/111821
dc.descriptionThesis: Ph. D., Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering; and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), 2017.en_US
dc.descriptionCataloged from PDF version of thesis.en_US
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references (pages 159-167).en_US
dc.description.abstractSeawater is estimated to contain 4.5 billion tonnes of uranium, approximately 1000 times that available in conventional terrestrial resources. Finding a sustainable way to harvest uranium from seawater will provide a source of nuclear fuel for generations to come, while also giving all countries with ocean access a stable supply. This will also eliminate the need to store spent fuel for potential future reprocessing, thereby addressing nuclear proliferation issues as well. While extraction of uranium from seawater has been researched for decades, no economical, robust, ocean-deployable method of uranium collection has been presented to date. This thesis presents a symbiotic approach to ocean harvesting of uranium where a common structure supports a wind turbine and a device to harvest uranium from seawater. The Symbiotic Machine for Ocean uRanium Extraction (SMORE) created and tested decouples the function of absorbing uranium from the function of deploying the absorbent which enables a more efficient absorbent to be developed by chemists. The initial SMORE concept involves an adsorbent device that is cycled through the seawater beneath the turbine and through an elution plant located on a platform above the sea surface. This design allows for more frequent harvesting, reduced down-time, and a reduction in the recovery costs of the adsorbent. Specifically, the design decouples the mechanical and chemical requirements of the device through a hard, permeable outer shell containing uranium adsorbing fibers. This system is designed to be used with the 5-MW NREL OC3-Hywind floating spar wind turbine. To optimize the decoupling of the chemical and mechanical requirements using the shell enclosures for the uranium adsorbing fibers, an initial design analysis of the enclosures is presented. Moreover, a flume experiment using filtered, temperature-controlled seawater was developed to determine the effect that the shells have on the uptake of the uranium by the fibers they enclose. For this experiment, the A18 amidoxime-based adsorbent fiber developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory was used, which is a hollow-gear-shaped, high surface area polyethylene fiber prepared by radiation-induced graft polymerization of the amidoxime ligand and a vinylphosphonic acid comonomer. The results of the flume experiment were then used to inform the design and fabrication of two 1/10th physical scale SMORE prototypes for ocean testing. The A18 adsorbent fibers were tested in two shell designs on both a stationary and a moving system during a nine-week ocean trial, with the latter allowing the effect of additional water flow on the adsorbents uranium uptake to be investigated. A novel method using the measurement of radium extracted onto MnO₂ impregnated acrylic fibers to quantify the volume of water passing through the shells of the two systems was utilized. The effect of a full-scale uranium harvesting system on the hydrodynamics of an offshore wind turbine were then investigated using a 1/150th Froude scale wave tank test. These experiments compared the measured excitation forces and responses of two versions of SMORE to those of an unmodified floating wind turbine. With insights from the experiments on what a final full-scale design might look like, a cost-analysis was performed to determine the overall uranium production cost from a SMORE device. In this analysis, the capital, operating, and decommissioning costs were calculated and summed using discounted cash flow techniques similar to those used in previous economic models of the uranium adsorbent. Major contributions of this thesis include fundamental design tools for the development and evaluation of symbiotic systems to harvest uranium or other minerals from seawater. These tools will allow others to design offshore uranium harvesting systems based on the adsorbent properties and the scale of the intended installation. These flexible tools can be tuned for a particular adsorbent, location, and installation size, thereby allowing this technology to spread broadly.en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibilityby Maha Niametullah Haji.en_US
dc.format.extent167 pagesen_US
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.publisherMassachusetts Institute of Technologyen_US
dc.rightsMIT theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed, downloaded, or printed from this source but further reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission.en_US
dc.rights.urihttp://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582en_US
dc.subjectJoint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering.en_US
dc.subjectMechanical Engineering.en_US
dc.subjectWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution.en_US
dc.subject.lcshSeawateren_US
dc.subject.lcshUranium Harvestingen_US
dc.subject.lcshOceanen_US
dc.titleExtraction of uranium from seawater : Design and testing of a symbiotic systemen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.description.degreePh. D.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentJoint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
dc.identifier.oclc1004237312en_US


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