Geothermal energy captured through geothermal power plants produces the by-product silica.
Geothermal power plants operate with geothermal fluid that contains dissolved minerals and gases. Often the mineral the highest concentration is silica or silicon dioxide. Boiling of the fluid releases dissolved gases which increases the pH level of the fluid and creates silicic acid. As a result, silicic acid can form hard glassy scales on the equipment which causes a depletion in geothermal power plant efficiency.
Precipitated silica as the geothermal fluid cools is a valuable product in a wide range of industries.
Application and Uses
Geo-silica can be used to make geopolymer concrete, lowering energy consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emission. Other uses include, a filler and reinforcing agent in rubber and plastics and in the manufacturing of adhesives, inks, pigments and coatings.