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Geothermal development research linking energy production with metal extraction

Geothermal water at Miskolc, Hungary (source: Mannvit)
Alexander Richter 6 Jan 2017

An EU funded research project led by the University of Miskolc in Hungary is looking to develop a new type of future energy production facility combining geothermal heat and power plant development with metal extraction right from the beginning of development.

A research project funded under the EU funding scheme of Horizon 2020 is looking at the development of a combined heat and power plant with metal extraction built in from the very beginning.

The CHPM2030 program started in January 2016 and is a 42-months project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon2020 programme on Research and Innovation (grant agreement nº 654100).

The strategic objective of CHPM2030 is to develop a novel and potentially disruptive technological solution that can help satisfy the European needs for energy and strategic metals in a single interlinked process. In the CHPM technology vision the metal-bearing deep geological formation will be manipulated in a way that the co-production of energy and metals will be possible, and may be optimised according to the market demands.

Working at the frontiers of geothermal resources development, minerals extraction and electrometallurgy the project aims at converting ultra-deep metallic mineral formations into an “orebodyEnhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)” that will serve as a basis for the development of a new type of facility for “Combined Heat, Power and Metal extraction” (CHPM).

As a final outcome the project will deliver blueprints and detailed specifications of a new type of future facility that is designed and operated from the very beginning as a combined heat, power and metal extraction system. The horizontal aim is to provide new impetus to geothermal development in Europe by investigating previously unexplored pathways at low-Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). This will be achieved by developing a Roadmap in support of the pilot implementation of such system before 2030, and full-scale commercial implementation before 2050.

Led by the University of Miskolc (Hungary) the CHPM2030 project partners represent governments (NERC, LNEG, IGR, SGU), research organisations (ISOR, VITO), academia (UNIM, USZ, KLeuv), SMEs (MinPol, LPRC) and the European geoscientific professional community (EFG). All of these participants are outstanding representatives of their particular sector and will contribute to the success of the project with their unique know-how. The project kick-off meeting took place in Miskolc, Hungary on 28 and 29 January 2016.

In the frame of Work Package 1, a study is currently under preparation, which will provide an EGS relevant review of the metallogenic provinces of Europe. With the tools of ore geology and metallogeny, it will serve as a background for formulating a detailed concept on the application of the CHPM technology.

More details about the project and its partners can be found at: www.chpm2030.eu

Source: CHPM2030