This early exploration well, drilled in Montana to find oil, has yielded over 1000 gallons per minute of hot goethermal fluid. The Energy Department is finding new ways to tap these natural energy streams to generate power and a number of direct use applications. Source: Geothermal Resources Council
Geothermal brine has the potential to contain relatively high concentrations of rare earths and other valuable materials. This targeted initiative focuses on combining mineral extraction with power generation as a path to producing commercially viable, low-to-moderate temperature geothermal resources, while boosting production of materials necessary for manufacturers of clean energy technologies and other industries. The Geothermal Technologies Office announced selections in 2014 for up to $4 million for mineral recovery from low- to moderate-temperature geothermal resources.Nine awards ranging from $250,000 to $500,000 will focus on feasibility studies aimed at better understanding extraction technologies and process economics, assessing the current critical materials resource base, and researching and developing innovative extraction methods.
Low-temperature geothermal resources offer a range of opportunities, including power generation through novel technologies and direct uses for commercial, agriculatural, and business applications, as well as coproduced technologies that couple geothermal power generation with oil and gas operations. Click here to visit the Low-Temperature Coproduced Resources page for more information.
Click the mineral recovery project descriptions below to learn more about Energy Department investments in this technology.
Click below also for a white paper outlining the science and engineering behind mineral extraction.