Tuesday, November 29, 2016

New Zealand: Commercial Operation to Extract Silica from Geothermal Power Plant Wastewater

First Silica Extraction Plant Almost Complete

Environmetals Limited (EVM) is presently engineering the first commercial application of its technology to extract silica from geothermal-electricity-waste fluids. After operating successful pilot plant operations to produce colloidal silica at two geothermal fields at Wairakei NZ and Kawerau NZ, EVM is now preparing to build and install the first 5,000 tpd commercial extraction plant at Kawerau. This is expected to be completed later in 2016. It should be noted that the pilot plant was not a sub-scale plant but rather a sub-module of the commercial plant, so reaching scale involves adding additional sub-modules.

EVM’s extraction and processing equipment removes silica from the waste geothermal fluids (after the generation of electricity) and creates colloids in the range of 8 – 16 nanometres with a concentration of 30 – 40% silica by weight. Three provisional patents have been filed covering all EVM developments over the last five years, creating a robust Intellectual Property platform.

Geothermal electricity generation is predicted to grow as a renewable energy resource, but the presence of dissolved silica in geothermal fluids can be a limiting and costly issue for the power plant.

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