I&EC Mary Moore  Tuesday, August 21, 2012 

71 - Life cycle cost and energy balance of uranium recovered by a braid adsorbent system

Erich A Schneider, eschneider@mail.utexas.edu, Darshan J Sachde. Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, United States

Life cycle discounted cash flow and inventory analysis methods are used to estimate the production cost and energy return on investment (EROI) of uranium recovered from seawater via a polyethelene-based braid type adsorbent. The estimates are built on original assessments of the cost and energy intensity of materials, capital equipment, labor and other inputs to the uranium production chain. If fresh adsorbent achieves a capacity of 2 grams of uranium (g U) / kg ads, as in trials off the coast of Japan, and the adsorbent may be reused 6 times with capacity degradation of 5% per recycle, the U production cost is estimated at $1230/kg U with a 95% confidence interval of [$1030/kg U, $1430/kg U]. If this uranium is used in a once-through fuel cycle, the EROI is found to be 22. Improving the capacity of the multi-recycled adsorbent to 6 g U/kg ads would reduce the cost by approximately a factor of three, as would attaining a very high capacity -- 20 g U/kg ads -- in a single-use adsorbent.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 04:35 PM
Extraction of Uranium from Seawater (01:00 PM - 05:00 PM)
Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center
Room: 113 A


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