|4/24/2016 by mdc|
|The oceans hold more than four billion tons of uranium ...enough to meet global energy needs for the next 10,000 years. Major advances in recovery from seawater have been published by the ACS journal. In the 1990s, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) scientists pioneered materials that hold uranium as it is stuck or adsorbed onto surfaces of the material submerged in seawater. |
In 2011, the U.S. DOE initiated a program involving a multidisciplinary team from U.S. national laboratories, universities and research institutes to address the fundamental challenges of economically extracting uranium from seawater. Within 5 years this team has developed new adsorbents that reduce the cost of extracting uranium from seawater by three to four times, though not competitive with mining.
Uranium from terrestrial sources can last for approximately 100 years, according to Erich Schneider of the University of Texas-Austin. As terrestrial uranium becomes depleted, prices are likely to rise. If we have technology to capture uranium from seawater, we can ensure that an essentially unlimited supply of the element becomes available when the uranium prices go up in the future, Schneider said.
I2M WP eds wonder if graphene carbon netting has been incorporated in the testing yet because of its strength, charge, overall potential utility?