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

Five 500 sequence cased peristaltic pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions are playing an important role in a demonstration plant at Cornish Lithium’s Shallow Geothermal Test Site in the UK.
Originally constructed 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, ultimately with the aim of developing an environment friendly, sustainable and cost-effective lithium extraction provide chain.
Giveaway for pumps got here from GeoCubed, a joint venture between Cornish Lithium and Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL). GEL owns a deep borehole website at United Downs in Cornwall the place plans are in place to fee a £4 million ($5.2 million) pilot plant.
“GeoCubed’s course of engineers helped us to design and commission the take a look at plant ahead of the G7, which would run on shallow geothermal waters extracted from Cornish Lithium’s personal analysis 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 elements of the test plant, the first of which extracts lithium from the waters by pumping the brine from a container up via a column containing numerous beads.
“The beads have an energetic ingredient on their floor that’s 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 answer in varied 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 answer.”
She added: “We’re utilizing the remaining 530 sequence pumps to assist understand what different by-products we are able to make from the water. For instance, we can reuse the water for secondary processes in business and agriculture. For this purpose, we now have two different columns working in unison to strip all different components from the water as we pump it via.”
According to Matthews, move price was among the many primary reasons for choosing Watson-Marlow pumps.
“The column needed a move fee of 1-2 litres per minute to suit with our test scale, so the 530 pumps have been ideal,” he says. “The different consideration was selecting between handbook or automated pumps. At the time, because it was bench scale, we went for handbook, as we knew it might be straightforward to make adjustments whereas we had been nonetheless experimenting with course of parameters. However, Closet would in fact take benefit of full automation.
Paisley added: “The wonderful factor about having these 5 pumps is that we can use them to help consider other technologies shifting forward. Lithium extraction from the type of waters we find in Cornwall just isn’t undertaken wherever else on the earth on any scale – the water chemistry right here is unique.
“It is actually important for us to undertake on-site check work with quite a lot of different companies and technologies. We need to devise essentially the most environmentally responsible resolution using the optimum lithium restoration technique, on the lowest attainable working cost. Using local corporations is part of our technique, notably as continuity of supply is vital.”
To help fulfil the requirements of the subsequent check plant, Cornish Lithium has enquired after more 530SN/R2 pumps from Watson-Marlow.
“We’ve also requested a quote for a Qdos one hundred twenty dosing pump from Watson-Marlow, so we can add a specific amount of acid into the system and obtain pH steadiness,” Matthews says. “We’ll be doing extra drilling in the coming 12 months, which can allow us to test our know-how on multiple sites.”

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