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January 9, 2019

Co-Production of Energy and Metals

CHPM2030 develops an “orebody-EGS (Enhanced Geothermal System)” that will serve as a basis for the development of a new type of facility used for the co-production of energy and metals, in order to improve the economics of geothermal energy production.

The research on deep geothermal resources development is currently underway in many European countries. Such initiatives are usually supported by state subsidies or European funds, without which the development of geothermal energy would have been significantly slowed down. One of the most exciting running projects is CHPM2030. It is a low technology readiness level (TRL) project which aims to develop a technology combining simultaneous extraction of heat, energy and strategic metals. The technology developed in this project would transform the current deep EGS systems into modern combined heat, power and metal installations.

Geo Fact and Stat - Co-Production of Energy and Metals

The main arguments for the use of such technology include pro-ecological policy of the European Union, high air pollution in some European countries, climate warming, high operating and investment costs of EGS systems, high demand for strategic metals resources, significant reduction in mining operations within the European Union as well as systematic deactivation of existing mines. The extraction of metals in the installation of combined heat, energy and metals is to take place, among others, through the process of in-situ leaching, i.e. dissolving of a given substance from the solid phase with the use of a solvent. The leaching process is a physical method of rock mining, which consists of liquefaction, usually with the use of water, without causing significant chemical changes. The leaching process is currently used in the industry to produce, among others, salt and potassium chloride. The main goal of the project is to make co-production of geothermal energy and metals possible and able to be optimized in accordance with the market demands in the near future. Although there is much more research needed to make such facility a reality by 2030, the current project will be able to provide proof of concept in a laboratory scale through investigations of in-situ leaching, electrochemical metal extraction, harvesting electrochemical energy as well as systems integration.

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Author: Michal Kruszewski

#geothermal #renewableenergy #heatextraction #metals #coproduction #CHPM2030