Impact fragmentation of polymetallic nodules under deep ocean pressure

An article is published  on written by Royal IHC and NIOZ.

Please find the abstract here:

The mining of poly metallic nodules from the seafloor comprises excavation or pickup, vertical transport to the
sea surface and the processing and shipping of the material afterward. Polymetallic nodules from the deep-sea
bed of the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ), a prospective mining area, are typically abundant at depths of around
5000 m under ambient pressures of 500 bar. The particle size distribution of the mixture leaving the Vertical
Transport System (VTS) is a key design parameter for the ore processing equipment, hence it is of importance to
know how nodules will be degraded or fragmented under different conditions of ambient pressure occurring
during upward transport in the VTS while passing through a series of centrifugal pumps supporting the flow in
the VTS. Up to date, quantification of nodule degradation by predictive models is impossible due to the unavailability
of data. In this paper, results of experiments performed with CCZ nodules passing through a centrifugal
pump under ambient pressures between 5 and 500 bar at different pump speeds are reported. The
fragmentation of the nodules into smaller size classes was determined and complementary experiments on nodule
fragmentation under atmospheric pressure conditions at different impact velocities are reported.

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