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

Five 500 series cased peristaltic pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions are playing an important position in a demonstration plant at Cornish Lithium’s Shallow Geothermal Test Site within 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 test plant as its drilling program expands, finally with the purpose of creating an environment friendly, sustainable and cost-effective lithium extraction provide chain.
The initial enquiry for pumps got here from GeoCubed, a three method partnership between Cornish Lithium and Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL). GEL owns a deep borehole site at United Downs in Cornwall the place plans are in place to commission 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 forward of the G7, which might run on shallow geothermal waters extracted from Cornish Lithium’s own analysis boreholes,” Dr Rebecca Paisley, Exploration Geochemist at Cornish Lithium, mentioned.
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 different parts of the check plant, the primary of which extracts lithium from the waters by pumping the brine from a container up through a column containing numerous beads.
“The beads have an lively 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 resolution in numerous concentrations via 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 resolution.”

She added: “We’re utilizing the remaining 530 collection pumps to assist perceive what different by-products we will make from the water. For instance, we are able to reuse the water for secondary processes in trade and agriculture. For this purpose, we now have two other columns working in unison to strip all other elements from the water as we pump it by way of.”

According to Matthews, flow price was among the many main reasons for choosing 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 have been perfect,” he says. “The different consideration was selecting between manual or automated pumps. At the time, as a end result of it was bench scale, we went for handbook, as we knew it would be easy to make changes whereas we have been still experimenting with process parameters. However, any future commercial lithium extraction system would after all benefit from full automation.
Paisley added: “The beauty of having these five pumps is that we can use them to help evaluate other technologies moving forward. Lithium extraction from the type of waters we find in Cornwall is not undertaken wherever else on the planet on any scale – the water chemistry right here is exclusive.
“It is really important for us to undertake on-site test work with quite so much of totally different corporations and applied sciences. เพชเชอร์เกจ want to devise the most environmentally accountable resolution utilizing the optimum lithium recovery technique, on the lowest attainable working value. Using native corporations is a part of our technique, particularly as continuity of supply is significant.”

To assist fulfil the necessities of the following check plant, Cornish Lithium has enquired after more 530SN/R2 pumps from Watson-Marlow.
“We’ve additionally requested a quote for a Qdos 120 dosing pump from Watson-Marlow, so we are able to add a specific amount of acid into the system and obtain pH balance,” Matthews says. “We’ll be doing extra drilling within the coming 12 months, which is able to permit us to check our technology on multiple sites.”


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