2551-The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Tubitak)-British Council Joint Program



Managing Boron in Geothermal Fluids for Sustainable Development of High Temperature Geothermal Energy Systems in Gediz Graben, Turkey (GeoGrab)

Turkey has the second largest geothermal energy capacity in Europe and it is estimated that the electricity generation from geothermal energy will increase to approximately 2000 MW by 2023. Gediz Graben region (located in west of Turkey) offers significant geothermal energy potential in Turkey with 11 active geothermal plants and 200 wells. Groundwater resources in Gediz Graben provide a critical supply of safe water for a large population and extensive agriculture industry in Aegean Region in Turkey. Therefore, minimizing water usage in geothermal energy production and protecting the water resources from hazardous chemicals from geothermal outflow fluids are crucial. Boron is a highly toxic compound which has been reported at high concentrations in the outflow water of wells in Gediz Graben (up to 60,000 ppb). The release of geothermal fluid with high concentrations of Boron to the environment without proper management and treatment can contaminate and poison plants and fruits (main agriculture products of the region) and subsequently affect the highly important agricultural economy in the region and the health of the local communities.

We aim to create an interdisciplinary programme of research between the University of Manchester (UoM), Izmir Institute of Technology (IZTECH) and two major industry and regulatory stakeholders in geothermal energy in the region to develop robust technologies for assessing and removing Boron from geothermal outflow fluid for potential recycling in agriculture purposes. We will develop i) a robust understanding of the formation and release of Boron from fluid-rock interactions under representative geothermal reservoirs in Gediz Graben and ii) low-cost adsorption-electrodialysis hybrid water treatment system. We will closely work with two major geothermal stakeholders in the region to create new capacity and deliver transferable outcomes for sustainable energy and water management in the region