Geo40 Limited – Sustainable Mineral Recovery
“a sustainable future relies on sustainable future minerals”
Geo40 has successfully developed a scalable world-leading technology for the recovery of strategic minerals from geothermal fluids. Geo40’s world-first, commercial size Northern Plant processes 6,700 tonnes of geothermal fluid per day and recovers a faceplate capacity of 5,000 metric ton per annum of high-quality, ultra-low-carbon colloidal silicas.
Recovery of silicas from geothermal fluid solves the major industry problem of silica scaling and represents new opportunities within the geothermal ecosystem. Geo40 requested Product Accelerator to undertake a feasibility study to ascertain if their colloidal silicas could be used as a sustainable and functional reinforcing filler, enhancing the performance and sustainability of latex and dry rubber-based products around the world.
The relationship evolved into an agreement to facilitate and co-ordinate a project with leading technology partners within rubber processing organisations, and to conduct laboratory plant trials with companies manufacturing rubber latex gloves and industrial rubber tyres. This collaboration has included the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka as an international technology partner, and leading industry partners such as Dipped Products International Ltd. and GRI Tyres Ltd. Techno-economic studies in both the latex and tyre projects are currently under investigation.
A postgraduate/master’s project will start in 2022 at the University of Sri Jayawardanepura, Sri Lanka, to progress the results achieved to date within latex products. Geo40 will support this initiative as a raw material supplier, with NZPA’s guidance and networks, as these industries seek to improve performance and sustainability credentials of rubber-based products
Creating value-added applications from geothermally recovered colloidal silica supports multiple economic and environmental benefits for existing production systems, and formulations are customisable to suit a wide range of markets seeking to lower their CO2 emissions by innovating traditional practices.
Sustainably recovered colloidal silicas can improve the product characteristics, for example, within the rubber and latex masterbatches used to produce high-performing sustainable tyres with lower rolling resistance, lower fuel consumption and lower carbon black content and therefore a lower cradle-to-grave carbon footprint.
Within latex products the addition of Geo40 colloidal silicas have presented marked improvements to the end user. Results show increased user comfort or wearability and increased tear strength of the latex films, but do not impact the modulus compared to current manufacturing practices. This is seen as a major industry breakthrough.
Steve Urquhart, Product & Market Development Manager for Geo40 said “Geo40’s research agreement with Product Accelerator has been highly valued in progressing our sustainability aspiration of being impactful in environmentally motivated markets around the world. Their industry specific expertise and networks, along with their resounding collaborative approach to innovation has been greatly welcomed.”