Five 500 series cased peristaltic pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions are playing an important position in an indication plant at Cornish Lithium’s Shallow Geothermal Test Site in the UK.
Originally built to check the idea of extracting lithium from geothermal waters, Cornish Lithium is now working on an upgraded version of the check plant as its drilling program expands, in the end with the goal of creating an environment friendly, sustainable and cost-effective lithium extraction supply chain.
The preliminary enquiry for pumps got here from GeoCubed, a joint venture between Cornish Lithium and Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL). GEL owns a deep borehole site at United Downs in Cornwall the place plans are in place to commission a £4 million ($5.2 million) pilot plant.
“GeoCubed’s course of engineers helped us to design and commission the check plant forward of the G7, which might run on shallow geothermal waters extracted from Cornish Lithium’s personal research boreholes,” Dr Rebecca Paisley, Exploration Geochemist at Cornish Lithium, said.
Adam Matthews, Exploration Geologist at Cornish Lithium, added: “Our shallow site centres on a borehole that we drilled in 2019. A special borehole pump [not Watson-Marlow] extracts the geothermal water [mildly saline, lithium-enriched water] and feeds into the demonstration processing plant.”
The five Watson-Marlow 530SN/R2 pumps serve two totally different components of the check plant, the primary of which extracts lithium from the waters by pumping the brine from a container up by way of a column containing a lot of beads.
“The beads have an active ingredient on their surface that’s selective for lithium,” Paisley explained. “As water is pumped via the column, lithium ions connect to the beads. With the lithium separated, we use two Watson-Marlow 530s to pump an acidic answer in various concentrations by way of the column. The acid serves to remove lithium from the beads, which we then transfer to a separate container.
“The pumps are peristaltic, so nothing however the tube comes into contact with the acid resolution.”
She added: “We’re using the remaining 530 series pumps to help perceive what different by-products we can make from the water. For occasion, we will reuse the water for secondary processes in industry and agriculture. For this purpose, we’ve two other columns working in unison to strip all different parts from the water as we pump it by way of.”
According to Matthews, flow price was among the primary reasons for choosing Watson-Marlow pumps.
“The column needed a move rate of 1-2 litres per minute to fit with our take a look at scale, so the 530 pumps had been perfect,” he says. “The other consideration was selecting between manual or automated pumps. At the time, as a end result of it was bench scale, we went for manual, as we knew it might be simple to make changes while we were still experimenting with process parameters. However, any future business lithium extraction system would in fact reap the advantages of full automation.
เกจ์วัดแรงดัน added: “The wonderful thing about having these five pumps is that we can use them to assist evaluate different technologies moving ahead. Lithium extraction from the type of waters we find in Cornwall is not undertaken anywhere else on the earth on any scale – the water chemistry here is exclusive.
“It is actually necessary for us to undertake on-site test work with a variety of completely different corporations and technologies. We wish to devise probably the most environmentally responsible resolution using the optimum lithium recovery methodology, at the lowest attainable operating value. Using local corporations is a half of our technique, notably as continuity of provide is significant.”
To assist fulfil the necessities of the following take a look at plant, Cornish Lithium has enquired after more 530SN/R2 pumps from Watson-Marlow.
“We’ve additionally requested a quote for a Qdos one hundred twenty dosing pump from Watson-Marlow, so we will add a specific amount of acid into the system and achieve pH stability,” Matthews says. “We’ll be doing more drilling in the coming 12 months, which will allow us to test our technology on multiple sites.”