Watson-Marlow pumps carry out at Cornish Lithium Shallow Geothermal Test Site

Five 500 sequence cased peristaltic pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions are enjoying an necessary function in an illustration plant at Cornish Lithium’s Shallow Geothermal Test Site in the UK.
Originally constructed to check the concept of extracting lithium from geothermal waters, Cornish Lithium is now engaged on an upgraded version of the take a look at plant as its drilling program expands, finally with the goal of creating an environment friendly, sustainable and cost-effective lithium extraction supply chain.
The preliminary enquiry for pumps came from GeoCubed, a joint venture between Cornish Lithium and Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL). GEL owns a deep borehole website at United Downs in Cornwall where plans are in place to fee a £4 million ($5.2 million) pilot plant.
“GeoCubed’s process 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 own research boreholes,” Dr Rebecca Paisley, Exploration Geochemist at Cornish Lithium, stated.
Adam Matthews, Exploration Geologist at Cornish Lithium, added: “Our shallow site centres on a borehole that we drilled in 2019. เกจวัดแรงดันแบบแห้ง [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 completely different components of the take a look at 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 energetic ingredient on their surface that is selective for lithium,” Paisley explained. “As water is pumped by way of the column, lithium ions attach to the beads. With the lithium separated, we use two Watson-Marlow 530s to pump an acidic resolution in numerous 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 solution.”
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 can reuse the water for secondary processes in industry and agriculture. For this cause, we now have two other columns working in unison to strip all other parts from the water as we pump it via.”
According to Matthews, move rate was among the many primary causes for selecting Watson-Marlow pumps.
“The column needed a flow rate of 1-2 litres per minute to suit with our test scale, so the 530 pumps had been ideal,” he says. “The other consideration was choosing between guide or automated pumps. At the time, as a end result of it was bench scale, we went for manual, as we knew it will be straightforward to make changes while we have been nonetheless experimenting with process parameters. However, any future industrial lithium extraction system would after all take advantage of full automation.
Paisley added: “The beauty of having these five pumps is that we can use them to assist evaluate other applied sciences transferring ahead. Lithium extraction from the sort of waters we find in Cornwall isn’t undertaken anyplace else on the earth on any scale – the water chemistry here is unique.
“It is basically important for us to undertake on-site test work with a selection of totally different corporations and applied sciences. We want to devise essentially the most environmentally responsible solution using the optimum lithium restoration methodology, on the lowest attainable working price. Using local corporations is a part of our strategy, particularly as continuity of provide is significant.”
To help fulfil the requirements of the subsequent test plant, Cornish Lithium has enquired after more 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 sure quantity of acid into the system and achieve pH stability,” Matthews says. “We’ll be doing more drilling within the coming 12 months, which is in a position to enable us to test our know-how on multiple sites.”

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