Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Mineral recovery from geothermal fluids
The US Dept. of Energy is seeking input on technological approaches to recovering minerals from geothermal fluids. The Request for Information: Geothermal Approaches to Validate Mineral Recovery is posted below:
Geothermal fluids may be a key pathway for providing access to strategic minerals and rare earth elements, many of which are imported to accommodate a growing U.S. demand for these commodities for a range of applications. In fact, the USGS reports that the United States relies on other countries for more than half of the domestic consumption of 43 minerals and is fully 100% import-reliant for 19 of these. To explore the potential for a secure and affordable domestic supply, the Energy Department has announced a Request for Information (RFI) to bridge the gap between Research and Development (R&D) and commercial adoption of geothermal "mining" technologies. This RFI seeks input on developing pilot-scale extraction technologies at geothermal mineral recovery and power production sites in three specific areas.
The first category will explore opportunities to conduct extensive engineering validation testing of technologies and processes that can efficiently and cost-effectively capture, concentrate, and/or purify high-value materials contained in geothermal fluids. This effort will focus on broadening the assessment of potential approaches that could be adapted from extractive industries in oil and gas, mining, and processes that utilize chemicals or resins to remove, purify, or process a material. Food processing, waste processing, and chemical preparations are examples of industries that could have applicable technologies transferrable to geothermal mineral extraction.
The second category will study approaches that leverage existing methods and those being considered for commercial applications in the geothermal and mining industries. These could include combined drilling technologies, rock stimulation technologies such as those used in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), and mineral extraction technologies as currently applied in solution mining.
A third area of study will broaden understanding about the existence and concentration of the high-value materials in U.S. geothermal fluids or low-temperature process streams from other operations, such as oil and gas production. Information sought in this category could be site-specific or assess domestic mineral resources in geothermal and other produced fluids on a national scale.
To see the full RFI, click here. This RFI is NOT a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA); therefore, EERE is not accepting applications at this time. Responses to the RFI are due by June 8, 2015.
at 8:14 PM