Silica Extraction at Mammoth Lakes, California

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Conference Paper: Silica Extraction at Mammoth Lakes, California

Abstract
The purpose of this project is to develop a cost-effective method to extract marketable silica (SiO2) from fluids at the Mammoth Lakes, California geothermal power plant. Marketable silica provides an additional revenue source for the geothermal power industry and therefore lowers the costs of geothermal power production. The use of this type of 'solution mining' to extract resources from geothermal fluids eliminates the need for acquiring these resources through energy intensive and environmentally damaging mining technologies. We have demonstrated that both precipitated and colloidal silica can be produced from the geothermal fluids at Mammoth Lakes by first concentrating the silica to over 600 ppm using reverse osmosis (RO). The RO permeate can be used in evaporative cooling at the plant; the RO concentrate is used for silica and potentially other (Li, Cs, Rb) resource extraction. Preliminary results suggest that silica recovery at Mammoth Lakes could reduce the cost of geothermal electricity production by 1.0%cent;/kWh.

Authors 
William L. Bourcier, William Ralph, Mackenzie Johnson, Carol Bruton and Pablo Gutierrez






Conference 
International Mineral Extraction from Geothermal Brines Conference; Tucson, Arizon; 09/04/2006


Published 
Geothermal Resources Council, 2006





DOI 
Not Provided
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Online 
Internet link for Silica Extraction at Mammoth Lakes, California

Citation

William L. Bourcier,William Ralph,Mackenzie Johnson,Carol Bruton,Pablo Gutierrez. 2006. Silica Extraction at Mammoth Lakes, California. In: Proceedings of the International Mineral Extraction from Geothermal Brines Conference. International Mineral Extraction from Geothermal Brines Conference; 09/04/2006; Tucson, Arizon. Tucson, Arizon: Geothermal Resources Council; p. 1-6