Market drivers for commercial recovery of products from geothermal fluids (print copy)

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Hill, A. 2015 Market drivers for commercial recovery of products from geothermal fluids. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science miscellaneous series 81 67 p.

Abstract: Geothermal extraction of minerals and compounds, from a market opportunity perspective is highly dependent on the detailed nature of the downstream product. However, the reverse side of the commercialization dichotomy is also very apparent. What product is desirable or viable depends on the nature of market opportunity. Therefore, to fully understand the underlying potential opportunity requires a multi-stage process carried out in close cooperation with those researchers responsible for identifying and then refining possible compounds. The geothermal brines in question hold relatively large concentrations of silica together with significant amounts of lithium, boron, caesium, potassium and sodium along with some rubidium, magnesium and traces of gold. In principal each of these compounds or elements hold opportunity for high value product. In some cases relatively niche product, such as colloidal silica, commands a very significant premium over other potential extract forms of silica. Similarly some forms of organolithium command a significantly higher price than battery grade lithium salts. However, in this case the amount of processing required to manufacture a suitable quality product needs careful consideration with respect to relative margin. (auth)

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