Geothermal resources that are mainly used to harness electrical and thermal power also contain valuable metals and minerals that can become value-added products or feed-stock materials for other processes. The ubiquitous presence of silica and other chemical constituents in geothermal brines, could translate into technical and energetical difficulties if not processed properly and could bring down power production from these largely environmentally benign renewable resources, through scaling and corrosion of wells and geothermal equipment. Silica scales reduce reinjection capacity and adversely affect heat exchangers performance. There is potential for recovering a significant amount of materials such as silica, lithium and other minerals, rare earths, precious metals like gold, silver, palladium, and platinum from geothermal brines. By increasing the efficiency of processes such as hydro- or water-mining to enhance the yield of geothermal metals and minerals, the efficiency and economics of geothermal electricity and thermal power can be improved. Chemistry and technical aspects of the methods used for the recovery of geothermal silica and lithium are briefly described.
|Commitee:||Venkatesh, T., Livermore, John|
|School:||State University of New York at Stony Brook|
|Department:||Chemical and Molecular Engineering|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||MAI 82/1(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Chemical engineering, Engineering|
|Keywords:||Process, Economics, Mineral extraction, Geothermal brines|
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