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:
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.
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.
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.