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 essential role in an illustration plant at Cornish Lithium’s Shallow Geothermal Test Site in the UK.
Originally built to test the idea of extracting lithium from geothermal waters, Cornish Lithium is now engaged on an upgraded model of the test plant as its drilling program expands, ultimately with the purpose of developing an efficient, sustainable and cost-effective lithium extraction supply chain.
The initial enquiry for pumps got here from GeoCubed, a three means partnership 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 process 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, mentioned.
Adam Matthews, Exploration Geologist at Cornish Lithium, added: “Our shallow website centres on a borehole that we drilled in 2019. เกรดวัดแรงดัน [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 different elements of the take a look at plant, the first of which extracts lithium from the waters by pumping the brine from a container up via 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 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 numerous concentrations via the column. The acid serves to remove lithium from the beads, which we then switch 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 collection pumps to assist understand what different by-products we can make from the water. For occasion, we can reuse the water for secondary processes in industry and agriculture. For this purpose, we’ve two other columns working in unison to strip all other components from the water as we pump it by way of.”
According to Matthews, move rate was among the major causes for selecting Watson-Marlow pumps.
“The column needed a flow price of 1-2 litres per minute to suit with our test scale, so the 530 pumps have been ideal,” he says. “The other consideration was selecting between handbook or automated pumps. At the time, because it was bench scale, we went for guide, as we knew it would be straightforward to make changes whereas we were still experimenting with process parameters. However, any future industrial lithium extraction system would after all take advantage of full automation.
Paisley added: “The wonderful factor about having these five pumps is that we are ready to use them to help consider different applied sciences moving forward. Lithium extraction from the type of waters we find in Cornwall is not undertaken anyplace else on the planet on any scale – the water chemistry right here is exclusive.
“It is actually important for us to undertake on-site test work with quite lots of different companies and technologies. We want to devise essentially the most environmentally accountable resolution utilizing the optimum lithium recovery technique, on the lowest attainable working price. Using local companies is part of our strategy, particularly as continuity of supply is important.”
To assist fulfil the necessities 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 120 dosing pump from Watson-Marlow, so we can add a specific amount of acid into the system and achieve pH steadiness,” Matthews says. “We’ll be doing extra drilling in the coming 12 months, which will permit us to check our know-how on multiple websites.”
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