A dark, damp, eerie cave with dripping water and furtive noises echoing through an underground chamber may seem an unusual source of inspiration for a bit of chemical engineering, but today’s blog illustrates that ideas can come from anywhere.
I’m sure you’re familiar with stalagmites and stalactites – those spiky, rocky formations that grow up from the ground and drop down from the roof of caves.
Geologists have known for a while how these form and have established mathematical models for their formation.
Interestingly, stalagmite formation is an issue in nuclear processing plants industry and researchers have used some of the knowledge from geologists to create a versatile model to predict how these stalagmite-like structures form.
The main point of the research is to is to reduce the number of potentially harmful manual inspections of nuclear waste containers.