New cooperation to explore mineral extraction from geothermal brine in Iceland

New cooperation to explore mineral extraction from geothermal brine in Iceland Geothermal area at Lake Myvatn, Iceland (source: flickr/ Bill Ward, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 17 Aug 2020

Using technology by New Zealand-based Geo40, Climeon and Landsvirkjun are to cooperate on combining mineral extraction from geothermal brines with power generation on site of Landsvirkjun's geothermal operations in the North of Iceland.

In a release shared today, Swedish technology company Climeon and Iceland’s national power company Landsvirkjun announce having signed a Letter of Intent, initiating a cooperation. The purpose of the cooperation is to evaluate a solution combining mineral extraction with Climeon’s technology for electricity production.

Climeon and Landsvirkjun have, in a Letter of Intent, agreed to co-operate in investigating and evaluating extracting minerals such as silica from geothermal brine using Geo40’s technology. This would make producing electricity from the high enthalpy fluid more feasible using technology such as Climeon’s. A solution combining these two technologies can be added to large scale geothermal power plants like the ones Landsvirkjun operate in Iceland.

Landsvirkjun is the largest energy company in Iceland and is owned by the Icelandic state. The company operates an installed capacity of 2.1 GW in hydro and geothermal power plants, making them one of Europe’s largest producers of renewable energy.

“Landsvirkjun is one of the most well-renowned companies in the geothermal industry and we are very proud to be cooperating with them,” says Thomas Öström, CEO of Climeon.

“With this cooperation, we want to show that combining high and low temperature geothermal power production with mineral extraction is technically and commercially viable,” continues Thomas Öström.

“The possibility of silica extraction is a ground breaking proposal and will pave the path for additional power production,” says Bjarni Pálsson, Executive Director of Geothermal and Wind at Landsvirkjun.

“Geothermal electricity is truly green. However, companies such as Climeon show that there is always room for improvement. We are happy to have signed a Letter of Intent with Climeon to evaluate the opportunities going forward,” continues Bjarni Pálsson.

More than half of the world’s geothermal power plants produce extra heat in Climeon’s temperature range that is currently not utilized for power production. To be able to fully utilize this waste heat, Climeon entered a partnership with the New Zealand-based company Geo40 that has developed a technology for extracting minerals such as silica from the brine. By removing the silica from the brine, Climeon can utilize the waste heat from the high temperature geothermal power plants for power production, increasing the total power output.

Source: company release by email