skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Brine treatment test for reinjection on Cerro Prieto geothermal field

Abstract

Reinjection of disposal brine from the Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Plant System is attractive mainly because, on top of solving the brine disposal problem, it may significantly contribute to extend the reservoir useful lifetime, through thermal and hydraulic recharge. Because the high concentration of colloidal silica in the disposal brine, laboratory and pilot plant tests were conducted in order to develop the brine treatment process. Addition of 20-40 mg/1 lime to flashed and aged brine for 10-20 minutes yields a clarified brine relatively low in suspended solids (10-30 mg/1) when the over flow rate is 38.5 1/min-m/sup 2/. 1.1 mills/kWh was the estimated cost for treatment of 800 kg/s of separated brine from the Cerro Prieto I power station.

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. (Departamento de Geotermia, Division de Fuentes de Energia, Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Justo Sierra y Herreros Sur 2098-Altos C.P. 21020, Mexicali, B.C. (MX))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5276507
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Geothermics; (USA); Journal Volume: 18:1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; BRINES; CHEMICAL COMPOSITION; FLUID FLOW; GEOTHERMAL FIELDS; HYDRAULIC FRACTURING; INJECTION WELLS; PILOT PLANTS; SILICA; WASTE DISPOSAL; CHALCOGENIDES; COMMINUTION; FRACTURING; FUNCTIONAL MODELS; MANAGEMENT; MINERALS; OXIDE MINERALS; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; SILICON COMPOUNDS; SILICON OXIDES; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WELLS; 150800* - Geothermal Power Plants; 150302 - Geothermal Exploration & Exploration Technology- Geochemical Techniques & Surveys

Citation Formats

Hurtado, R., Mercado, S., and Gamino, H. Brine treatment test for reinjection on Cerro Prieto geothermal field. United States: N. p., 1989. Web. doi:10.1016/0375-6505(89)90021-7.
Hurtado, R., Mercado, S., & Gamino, H. Brine treatment test for reinjection on Cerro Prieto geothermal field. United States. doi:10.1016/0375-6505(89)90021-7.
Hurtado, R., Mercado, S., and Gamino, H. Sun . "Brine treatment test for reinjection on Cerro Prieto geothermal field". United States. doi:10.1016/0375-6505(89)90021-7.
@article{osti_5276507,
title = {Brine treatment test for reinjection on Cerro Prieto geothermal field},
author = {Hurtado, R. and Mercado, S. and Gamino, H.},
abstractNote = {Reinjection of disposal brine from the Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Plant System is attractive mainly because, on top of solving the brine disposal problem, it may significantly contribute to extend the reservoir useful lifetime, through thermal and hydraulic recharge. Because the high concentration of colloidal silica in the disposal brine, laboratory and pilot plant tests were conducted in order to develop the brine treatment process. Addition of 20-40 mg/1 lime to flashed and aged brine for 10-20 minutes yields a clarified brine relatively low in suspended solids (10-30 mg/1) when the over flow rate is 38.5 1/min-m/sup 2/. 1.1 mills/kWh was the estimated cost for treatment of 800 kg/s of separated brine from the Cerro Prieto I power station.},
doi = {10.1016/0375-6505(89)90021-7},
journal = {Geothermics; (USA)},
number = ,
volume = 18:1,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1989},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1989}
}
  • At the present time, Units 1 and 2 of the Cerro Prieto power plant generate 75 MW of power. For this purpose, about 2200 t/h of fluids are produced. At present, a number of studies are being conducted to evaluate alternative methods of injection. The methods being considered are: cold or hot injection with open, closed or mixed systems. For each of these systems, laboratory tests will be carried out using columns packed with different grain-sized sands. The sands used are from alluvial fans of the Cucapa range. The purpose of these tests is to establish the scale-forming tendencies ofmore » the water when injected under different conditions. 5 refs.« less
  • In this paper, preliminary results of two reinjection studies will be described: (1) Initial investigation of several possible reinjection patterns for the Cerro Prieto geothermal field have been made based on a method developed by Gringarten and Sauty (1975). The resulting data show what may be expected from different reinjection schemes and may provide useful guidelines for the eventual choice of an optimal well arrangement. A numerical model was used to study the injection pressure expected when colder water is injected into a hot reservoir. 3 refs.
  • The response of the Cerro Prieto geothermal field to different reinjection schemes is predicted using a two-dimensional vertical reservoir model with single- or two-phase flow. The advance of cold fronts and pressure changes in the system associated with the injection operations are computed, taking into consideration the geologic characteristics of the field. The effects of well location, depth and rates of injection are analysed. Results indicate that significant pressure maintenance effects may be realized in a carefully designed reinjection operation.
  • The results of an initial study of possible reinjection patterns for the Cerro Prieto geothermal field, Baja California, Mexico, are discussed. First, the numeric model and assumptions made are described, then the various cases studied are presented. The resulting data indicate what may be expected from different reinjection schemes and may provide useful guidelines for future reinjection operations at Cerro Prieto and other liquid- dominated geothermal fields.
  • It has become generally accepted that reinjection will be necessary for optimizing the exploitation of a geothermal field. Not only does this afford a way to solve the problem of disposal of cooled geothermal brine, but it also serves the purpose of maintaining reservoir pressure, thus reducing possible subsidence effects, and sustaining production flow rates. In addition, reinjection enhances thermal energy extraction from the reservoir rocks. However, reinjection creates a zone of relatively cold water around each injection well that will grow with time and eventually reach the production wells. When the cold water appears ('breaks through') in the producingmore » wells, the efficiency of the operation may be drastically reduced. It is therefore important to design the system of injection wells to prevent cold water breakthrough before a specified time. For a given production field, it is essential that both the location and flow rates of the injection wells be optimized. In the present paper the results of an initial study of possible reinjection patterns for the Cerro Prieto geothermal field, Baja California, Mexico are discussed. First, the numerical model and assumptions made are described, then the various cases we studied are presented. The resulting data indicate what may be expected from different reinjection schemes and may provide useful guidelines for future reinjection operations at Cerro Prieto and other liquid-dominated geothermal fields.« less