Zelandez Launches New Specialized Lithium Brine Recycling Service
Austin, Texas, August 23, 2023— Zelandez, the leading global provider of services to the lithium brine industry, today announced the availability of its new specialized lithium brine reinjection service. The innovative new service, believed to be an industry first, combines hydrochemistry with traditional reinjection techniques used extensively in the oil and gas market and deployed in lithium mines.
The tailored service will provide lithium brine extractors with a full characterization of their reservoirs and optimize the location of injector wells and producer wells. It also includes the design of a reinjection plan that maintains aquifer pressure, ensures the production of preferred brines, whilst also protecting freshwater assets.
The global demand for sustainable sources of lithium has created a race to develop “Direct Lithium Extraction” technologies (DLE). This is typically used by lithium brine extractors to separate lithium from the salty water held in oil and gas reservoirs and in underground brine aquifers. However, the challenge is that when DLE is used, the lithium producer is left with a lot of depleted brine that must go somewhere and underground reinjection is the obvious solution.
“The impetus behind the development of our specialized lithium brine reinjection service is that the normal methods of reinjection, historically used in the oil and gas industry and borrowed by the lithium industry, are simply not delivering the desired results. We all know that oil doesn’t mix with water and depleted lithium brine is miscible with the underlying asset,” says Gene Morgan, CEO of Zelandez.
During Zelandez’s research and development process, the importance of integrating hydrochemistry into traditional reinjection techniques became very apparent. “This process totally changes the aquifer management plan and enhances protection of freshwater water assets. Our new service takes the lithium brine sector significantly closer to true mastery of the subsurface. So much so, that in the lithium brine market we feel that it really shouldn’t even be called “reinjection.” It’s much more accurate to call what we are doing ‘Brine Recycling,’” says Morgan.
Commenting on Zelandez’s approach, Lee Ann Munk, Geochemical Modelling Lead at Zelandez says, “As the demand for lithium increases, there will be significant attention focused on how lithium brine extractors can effectively manage their byproducts and wastewater. We believe our methodology is groundbreaking and will change the way the industry tackles a challenge that no lithium brine extraction company has managed to adequately resolve – ‘what do you do with depleted brine?’”
Zelandez’s lithium brine reinjection service will enable lithium brine extractors to achieve enhanced levels of environmental stewardship, mining productivity, and resource and risk management.
Zelandez recently entered the North American market. Its US expansion was driven by key issues impacting the US domestic lithium mining industry. The company’s client base includes industry giants such as Rio Tinto, Albemarle, and Allkem. It holds a dominant position as the world’s provider of lithium brinefield services.