Recovery of lithium from geothermal brines and production of battery-grade lithium products in one U.S location.
Utilizing 100% renewable, baseload geothermal power and steam
Supports critical growth of US Battery Supply Chain.
- The rising demand for electric vehicles, means that demand for Lithium-ion batteries used in EVs and Energy Storage Systems (ESS) is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Lithium is a core element in the production of these batteries and as a result, this project will help develop a competitive lithium economy locally in North America and supply battery value chains during this time.
- The demand for renewable energy is on the rise. Most renewable forms of energy are intermittent in nature and as a result, require lithium-based batteries for Energy Storage Systems. Supporting the geothermal power market, which produces clean, baseload power, helps support hundreds of thousands of jobs across numerous industries.
- The Salton Sea geothermal field hosts an immense geothermal resource with certain technical challenges. The high salinity geothermal brine is corrosive by nature and requires a specialized approach to produce clean power, steam, and critical minerals.
- Project involves the development of a high-temperature single flash steam geothermal power plant followed by a lithium plant that will recover lithium prior to returning the brine to the reservoir.
- Identified and utilized synergies between the lithium extraction process and the geothermal power process to minimize cost and maximize efficiency. For example, most of the steam generated in the lithium plant brine flash vessels is used within the lithium process to reduce the capital and operating costs.
- Based on knowledge gained from the processing of geothermal brines, materials of construction and equipment designs are optimized to address the challenging brine conditions.
- Hatch has produced a preliminary design for crystallizer reactor clarifier technology, allowing the plant to flash superheated brine into steam while removing mainly precipitated silica, mitigating the risk of any scaling to develop in the vessels and piping.
- Project support through various lithium extraction and power generation technology trade-off studies, laboratory test work, producing high level major equipment lists, as well as CAPEX and OPEX estimates and the development of a report.
- Completed preliminary economic assessment, by developing a financial model that incorporated both the lithium and geothermal power production, including allocation of costs to generate power, lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.
- Continued to optimize the project via a recently completed Pre-Feasibility Study.
- The project will recover lithium from the geothermal brine and produce geothermal power and lithium products.
- The process has undergone several optimizations to improve capital and operating costs, while also increasing lithium recovery.
- The lithium technology utilizes an ion exchange technique which is environmentally friendlier and yields lithium in a significantly short period of time compared to alternative brine processing techniques.
- Hatch has worked with CTR to devise a fast-track project execution methodology, in order to help bring the plant on-line in a short time frame.
“Hatch was instrumental in the successful delivery of this project. Their services were completed within the approved timeframe and budget. Furthermore, Hatch continues to maintain their professional support throughout the development of this project.”
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