Researchers Finds New Technique to Extract Endless Uranium Power From The Ocean
Feb 21, 2017 08:43 AM EST
Stanford researchers have developed a new technique that could capture uranium fuel from the ocean, which opens the door to uranium access without affecting the carbon dioxide.
The ocean, according to Engadget, is a good source of uranium fuel but exists in such small quantities that extracting process is not economically feasible. Climate change is a serious issue until renewable solutions like wind and solar are widely adopted, and with the findings nuclear power is once again viable.
The study reveals that a surprising amount of uranium exists in the sea in the form of positively charged uranyl ions with a total estimation of 4.5 billion tons, which is enough to supply current plants for another 6 millenia. But there's just around a grain of salt for each quart (three sections for every billion) and so far it's been excessively tedious and costly, making it impossible to concentrate it in decent amounts.
The most ideal approach to obtain uranium out of salt water is to plunge plastic fibers coated with a natural chemical called amidoxime into seawater. The uranyl particles adhere to the amidoxime, and can later be separated and refined into uranium fuel. The key to its practicality is how rapidly particles can be gathered, how much sticks and how regularly the fibers can be reused
The Stanford group concocted a conductive hybrid carbon and amidoxime fiber model that is better in all three of those areas. By sending electric pulses down the fiber, it could retain up to nine circumstances as much uranyl as earlier strands without getting saturated. Over a 11-hour test at Half Moon Bay, the group captured three times as much uranium and the fiber had thrice the life expectancy of standard amidoxime.
In 2012, a Japanese group evaluated that their seawater extraction strategy, utilizing past tech, could be produced for about $300 per kilogram. That was around three circumstances the business cost by then, yet at this moment, the cost is around half of that.