A geothermal energy company plans to extract lithium alongside power plants in Cornwall after finding record concentrations of the metal.
Geothermal Engineering said tests had found concentrations of lithium higher than 250mg per litre in waters deep underneath the county – higher than in geothermal waters anywhere else in the world.
What they’re doing is entirely sensible. Take the heat and power out of the hot water that is that free gift of nature. Cool!
Stick a filter on the system and extract the lithium. Should work. Lots of people trying it at least, the tech is out there to do it I think, why not?
and a conservative average lithium concentration in geothermal brine is 200 mg/L (McKibben and Hardie 1997)
Ah, not so much a record, certainly not far outside a conservative estimate.
For this report, technical
and economic data are reviewed from projects focused on lithium extraction from geothermal
and other brine types to assess the technologies being deployed and estimated costs to produce
end products lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) and lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LiOH·H2O). A
review of these projects indicates expected production costs (i.e., operating expenses or OPEX)
near $4,000/metric ton of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and reported internal rates of
return suggest this production cost target is economically feasible with estimated prices of
≥$11,000/mt LCE. For comparison, market prices since mid-2018 have ranged from
approximately $20,000/mt to $7,500/mt LCE.
Still, should work.