Geothermal Water Treatment

Manage scalants, corrosion, and blowdown

Geothermal heat is used in many countries to provide clean renewable heating or electricity. Saltworks can help geothermal operators maintain plant performance and improve economics with a variety of advanced membrane, chemical, and thermal solutions.

Geothermal Waters 

Geothermal systems come in many forms but generally, they circulate a fluid underground to collect heat. The water is then circulated above ground where it can provide heating, and if the temperature is high enough, drive a turbine for electricity generation. When power is produced, a cold sink is required often employing cooling towers.

 

Geothermal wastewater challenges may occur when wells are first drilled (managing the initial slug of underground saline water) or within the operational closed-loop (managing scale forming by-products), or in the cooling tower circuit. Ensuring cost-effective water treatment will help maintain geothermal plant efficiency.

 

Saltworks can help geothermal operators reduce salinity and treat other contaminants-of-concern with a selection of chemical, thermal, membrane, and ion specific sensor technologies.

Geothermal Waters
Scaling found on the interior surface of pipes

Target Scaling & Corrosive Species

To protect geothermal heat and power circuits, scaling and corrosive species may need to be removed:

 

Treat chlorides and scaling ions with FlexEDR Selective: removes scaling ions or chlorides with an electrodialysis reversal (EDR) kidney loop.

 

Measure and Target silica with ScaleSense and SilicaSelect: ScaleSense measures silica and other scaling ions in real-time while low-footprint SilicaSelect removes silica, producing a small solid filter cake for ease of disposal.

 

Remove scaling ions with BrineRefine: our automated chemical softening system selectively removes many scaling species including calcium, sulfate, and silica.

Manage Blowdown and Water Use

If disposal options are limited for geothermal well and cooling tower blowdown fluids, minimal or zero liquid discharge may be the best approach.

 

Boost cooling tower cycles and minimize blowdown with our XtremeRO ultra-high recovery or FlexEDR ‘chloride kidney’ membrane cooling tower blowdown systems.

 

Treat geothermal well blowdown with our SaltMaker family of evaporators and crystallizers.

enhanced geothermal systems
Geothermal pipework

Lithium, Cooling & More Geothermal Solutions

Some geothermal operators are investigating the extraction of lithium from their geothermal brines. Saltworks brings considerable expertise to lithium projects.

 

Others may have cooling tower blowdown challenges, which we can also help with.

 

To investigate your geothermal project’s treatment options, contact our expert team.

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Related Resources

injection disposal wells for wastewater
Article

Protect Disposal Wells, Optimize Capacity, and Reduce Disposal Costs

Disposal wells are an established method for disposing of hazardous fluids by injecting them deep underground. Commingling (mixing) incompatible fluids in a disposal well may inadvertently cause solids to precipitate, which risks plugging the well. Plugging is disruptive and costly to fix, but operators can prevent it with advanced sensors, controls, and targeted wastewater treatment.