Watson-Marlow pumps perform at Cornish Lithium Shallow Geothermal Test Site

Five 500 collection cased peristaltic pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions are playing an necessary function in an illustration 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 model of the check plant as its drilling program expands, in the end with the purpose of creating an efficient, sustainable and cost-effective lithium extraction provide chain.
The preliminary enquiry for pumps came from GeoCubed, a three means partnership between Cornish Lithium and Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL). GEL owns a deep borehole web site at United Downs in Cornwall where plans are in place to commission a £4 million ($5.2 million) pilot plant.
“GeoCubed’s process engineers helped us to design and fee the test 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 particular borehole pump [not Watson-Marlow] extracts the geothermal water [mildly saline, lithium-enriched water] and feeds into the demonstration processing plant.”
The 5 Watson-Marlow 530SN/R2 pumps serve two totally different components of the take a look at plant, the first of which extracts lithium from the waters by pumping the brine from a container up through a column containing a lot of beads.
“The beads have an active ingredient on their floor that is selective for lithium,” Paisley explained. “As water is pumped by way of the column, lithium ions connect to the beads. With the lithium separated, we use two Watson-Marlow 530s to pump an acidic resolution in various concentrations through the column. The acid serves to take away lithium from the beads, which we then transfer to a separate container.
“The pumps are peristaltic, so nothing but the tube comes into contact with the acid resolution.”
She added: “We’re using the remaining 530 collection pumps to help understand what different by-products we will make from the water. For occasion, we are in a position to reuse the water for secondary processes in business and agriculture. For this cause, we’ve two different columns working in unison to strip all other elements from the water as we pump it through.”
According to Matthews, circulate fee was among the many primary reasons for choosing Watson-Marlow pumps.
“The column needed a move price of 1-2 litres per minute to suit with our take a look at scale, so the 530 pumps had been ideal,” he says. “The different consideration was choosing between manual or automated pumps. At the time, because it was bench scale, we went for manual, as we knew it might be easy to make changes while we were still experimenting with course of parameters. However, Covert would of course benefit from full automation.
Paisley added: “The wonderful factor about having these 5 pumps is that we can use them to assist consider different technologies shifting ahead. Lithium extraction from the sort of waters we discover in Cornwall just isn’t undertaken wherever else on the planet on any scale – the water chemistry right here is exclusive.
“It is really essential for us to undertake on-site check work with a big selection of different firms and technologies. We wish to devise probably the most environmentally responsible answer using the optimum lithium recovery method, on the lowest attainable operating cost. Using local firms is a half of our strategy, notably as continuity of provide is important.”
To help fulfil the requirements of the next check plant, Cornish Lithium has enquired after extra 530SN/R2 pumps from Watson-Marlow.
“We’ve additionally requested a quote for a Qdos a hundred and twenty dosing pump from Watson-Marlow, so we will add a certain quantity of acid into the system and achieve pH steadiness,” Matthews says. “We’ll be doing extra drilling within the coming 12 months, which can permit us to check our technology on a quantity of sites.”
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