Technological and profitable analysis of airlifting in deep sea mining systems

Wenbin Ma, Cees van Rhee, Dingena Schott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
354 Downloads (Pure)


Airlifting technology utilized in deep-sea mining (DSM) industry was proposed in the 70s of last century, which was triggered by the discovery of vast amounts of mineral resources on the seabed. The objective of this paper is to assess the technological feasibility and profitability analyses in terms of solid production rate, energy consumption per tonnage of mineral, and profitability per tonnage of mineral. The effects of submergence ratio, pipe diameter, particle diameter, mining depth, and gas flux rate are investigated. The analysis is based on a numerical calculation performed in a Matlab environment. The research reported in this paper can assist to select an optimal transport plan for DSM projects depending on its solid production rate, energy consumption, and profitability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number143
Number of pages20
JournalMinerals - Open Access Mining & Mineral Processing Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • energy consumption
  • profitability
  • pipe diameter
  • submergence ratio
  • solid production rate
  • technological feasibility


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