Hydraulic lifting parameter is the base of designing a lifting system. On the basis of studying the hydraulic properties of manganese nodules (including the falling velocity of single manganese nodule in static water and the falling velocity of groups of particles in upward flow) and the basic characteristics of solid-liquid two phase now transport, a calculating model was founded and the prediction and optimization of hydraulic lifting parameters of a manganese nodule mining system were made. The reasonable concentration, diameter of lifting pipe, velocity of mixture now, pressure of pump, were suggested preliminarily in this paper with consideration of maximum lining efficiency and minimum unit energy consumption.
More than 100 years ago, the "CHALLENGER" of England firstly discovered manganese nodules in the Atlantic Ocean. Manganese nodules contains more than 30 noble metals which mainly are Fe, Mn, Ni, Co, Cu. The enormous economic values of manganese nodules attracted extensive attention of developed countries and nearly ten kinds of mining and lifting technologies have been developed: continuous line bucket (CLB) system, autonomous shuttle mining, and pipe lift mining which can be furthermore classified into :slurry-pump lift, water-pump lift, light-media lift, heavy-media lift(Kenjiro Jimbo,1993), pipecapsule lift(H.H.van den Kroonenberg, 1979) and air-pump lift. In the mining method above mentioned, the test of the CLB system in 1973 showed that it was poor collecting efficiency and existed other problems including cable enlargements (Masuda Y. M. J. Cruickshank and J. L. Mero, 1971). The studies on autonomous shuttle miner was stopped, because it seemed sophisticated and of little commercial interest(M. Gauthier and C. Charles,1979). In pipe lift, the slurry-pump lift and air lift are considered as a lifting method with more application prospect. It proved that slurry pump lift and air lift were technically feasible.