MGX Minerals Inc reports that engineering partner PurLucid Treatment Solutions Inc has developed high temperature filtration for the purification of geothermal brines and associated extraction of metals and minerals including lithium.
Geothermal brines contain concentrated amounts of metals and dissolved salts. The presence of these impurities, combined with the necessity to reduce brine temperature in order for traditional filtration to occur, reduces flow and heat transfer of geothermal heat exchangers. This in turn negatively impacts the long-term operating performance and in many cases eliminates the economic viability of these systems.
Geothermal brines are known to contain lithium, magnesium and other minerals and metals, including gold.
MGX and engineering partner PurLucid have developed a proprietary, low energy design process that removes these scale-forming ions and dissolved salts but does not requiring a reduction in brine temperatures for filtration to occur. The process utilizes PurLucid’s patented replaceable membrane skin layers (RSL) filtration system, originally developed by David Bromley Engineering, which creates highly charged pore spaces to force dissolved ions into colloidal particles, simultaneously filtered down to 0.01 microns. The RSL is designed specifically to foul and is removed and replaced in situ, resulting in 100% flux rate recovery. The ultrafiltration can then be followed by a patent-pending membrane distillation system in projects where heat is available. The matrix is composed of materials capable of operating at up to 700°C. Geothermal temperatures rarely exceed 250°C.
This technology represents an environmentally friendly alternative for geothermal brine disposition, which is largely limited to non-treated reinjection. MGX and PurLucid are conducting engineering studies to fabricate treatment systems capable of being integrated into existing geothermal infrastructure or incorporated as standalone systems for mineral and metals extraction.
MGX currently owns a 34% interest in Purlucid and has the right to acquire 100% through successive future investments.