Assessing REE Concentrations in Geothermal and Oil and Gas Produced Waters: A Potential Domestic Source of Strategic Mineral Commodities
The project team collected and analyzed 224 water samples and 101 matching rock samples. INL's improved method of measuring aqueous REEs allows study of samples previously thought too volume limited to measure.
The study found that aqueous REEs occur at trace levels in all analyzed samples, and sometimes exceed ocean REE concentrations by a factor of 1,000. No significant predictive relationship to lithology, reservoir temperature, nor salinity was discovered, but aqueous REE concentration appears spatially controlled.
Future work is needed to find the spatially-dependent variable that controls aqueous REE concentration.
DOE Project Number: EE0007603
DOE Project Lead: Josh Mengers
Submitted Mar 8, 2019
University of Wyoming