Generation of geothermal energy is associated with a significant amount of geothermal fluids, which may be abundant in high-value metals, such as lithium, cesium, rubidium, and other precious and rare earth metals. The recovery of high-value metals from geothermal fluids would thus have both economic and environmental benefits. The conventional technologies applied to achieve this are mostly physicochemical, which may be energy intensive, pose the risk of secondary pollution whilst being inefficient in recovering metals from dilute solutions. Biological methods, based on biosorption or bioaccumulation, have recently emerged as alternative approaches, as they are more environmentally friendly, cost effective, and suitable for treating wastewater with dilute metal contents. This article provides a comprehensive review of the related biological technologies used to recover the high-value metals present in geothermal fluids as well as critical discussion on the key issues that are often used to evaluate the effectiveness of those methods.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal