Design of a Novel Salt Collection System

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Sarah Haight


One of the largest hurdles to the widespread incorporation of recycling processes for metals is that the spent components are often combined with other materials, such as salts. In order for the desired materials to be recovered, the salt-metal solid solution must be decomposed into the individual constituents and then separated. Unfortunately, this process of separating the constituents can take several days and has numerous technical challenges resulting in the operation being less cost-effective than mining new metal. Therefore, to improve the cost-effectiveness of the recycling process, Idaho National Laboratory submitted a request to design a faster, smaller, and more efficient system. The system has been broken into two components: a metal collection system and a salt collection system. The design will leverage the same concept as a percolator. A pump will be used to create a negative pressure in the system, thereby pulling the salt through the percolator and into the coolant. At this interface, the salt will condense and fall to the bottom of a specially-designed container for collection. Experimentation will be performed in an effort to prove the feasibility of this concept and eventually will result in the ability to scale the design up for industrial use.

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