VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Lithium-focused partners MGX Minerals and PurLucid Treatment Systems have completed a 1 000 ℓ/d petrolithium extraction and water treatment system.
The system was developed by engineering partner PurLucid, and will be deployed for large-scale testing of bulk water samples from MGX's petrolithium projects, including Sturgeon Lake, in Alberta, and Paradox Basin, in Utah, as well as with customers and partners before use on a commercial scale.
The plant was built following successful trials in an initial laboratory scale and tightly controlled process. The latest plant can process 6.3 bbl/d of oil field brine, stepping up from the initial system’s 10 ℓ/d capacity, which produced concentrated lithium chloride samples.
“With the core process tested, we are comfortable moving to a system 100 times larger. Over the month of July, we will be receiving large volume samples from MGX's projects and now have the processing capacity to demonstrate the benefits of the lithium recovery process as well as upgraded water quality,” stated Purlucid CEO Dr Preston McEachern in a press release earlier this week.
The process relies on advanced nanomaterials, used in conjunction with nanoflotation technologies.
In parallel with the lab testing, PurLucid is busy building a 100 000 ℓ/d pilot unit for precommercial testing of oilfield wastewater and construction of the lithium recovery system is also under way.
Construction of the system started in early 2017 and the water treatment component essential to delivering a water quality suitable for lithium recovery was completed in early Spring. The pilot plant is expected to be completed by September.
Meanwhile, the design and engineering of a commercial scale 1.2-million-litre-a-day system is now under way, MGX said.