In December 2018, Lycopodium Process Industries was engaged by New Zealand-based technology company Geo40 to design and commission a new facility for the extraction of silica from geothermal fluids in the Taupo region of New Zealand. Geo40 already had a contract with NZ’s Contact Energy and Ngati Tahu Tribal Lands Trust to build a Commercial Demonstration Plant, commissioned in April 2018. Having demonstrated the feasibility of the technology, they are now scaling up the operations to greater capacity in partnership with Lycopodium.
This exciting process essentially extracts silica as a by-product from the heated fluids already being used to produce energy on the Ohaaki geothermal field near Taupo in New Zealand. In doing so, not only does Geo40 produce a sellable product – useful for all kinds of household products from paints to manufacturing golf clubs – the local environment is also benefitting as the silica products being produced come with a much lower carbon footprint due to nature doing all the work in dissolving the silica.
Lycopodium Process Industries is an engineering consultancy with expertise in Process Engineering across a variety of fields which overlapped with Geo40’s specific requirements. Further details about the project will be shared on the Project Profiles page upon completion.
The project has been well covered by news outlets in New Zealand – below are a number of recent articles outlining the project in further detail:
TVNZ article including video feature: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/kiwi-company-creates-world-first-sustainable-silica-big-business-potential
Scoop business report: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1807/S00476/geo40-partner-with-maori-on-world-leading-energy-project.htm
Along with releases from both Geo40 and Contact Energy:
Contact Energy: https://contact.co.nz/aboutus/media-centre/2018/07/19/contact-geo40-partner-with-maori-on-world-leading-energy-project