Mining of Deep-Seabed Nodules Using a Coandă-Effect-Based Collector

S.M.S. Alhaddad*, D. Mehta, R.L.J. Helmons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

We present an effective design of a hydraulic, polymetallic nodule collector, which fundamentally depends on the Coandă effect in harvesting nodules. The design was first developed based on 2D numerical simulations conducted using a computational fluid dynamics tool, ANSYS FLUENT. Following that, the design was tested in full-scale experiments, which provided insights into the collection efficiency of the collector and confirmed its functionality and effectiveness. The latter means, in the context of deep sea mining, high effective pick-up of nodules, with minimum sediment disturbance. Our observations indicate that our design hardly disturbs the tested sediment bed. The experimental results show that a higher jet velocity leads to a higher pick-up efficiency. Two forward velocities were tested and the higher forward velocity led to a lower pick-up efficiency. It is revealed that the available time for the nodules to respond to the pressure gradient under the collector is of great importance; if the available time is not sufficient, the nodules will not be picked-up even if the pressure gradient is adequate. The clearance under the rear cowl of the collection duct is found to play a major influential role in the collection process; a smaller bottom clearance results in a higher pick-up efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100852
Number of pages14
JournalResults in Engineering
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Deep sea mining
  • Polymetallic Nodules
  • Hydraulic collector
  • Coandă effect
  • Nodule pick-up device

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