EcoVAP complements technologies used in the extraction of targeted or residual elements in the water (i.e., rare earths including lithium). EcoVAP can inexpensively increase Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) to 250kppm. This reduces transportation of wastewater for processing, as well as the energy and chemicals needed to restore water.
EcoVAP facilitates permanent disposal by dramatically reducing the volume of wastewater through Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) by 80-95% with a similar reduction in related transportation and disposal costs.
ACTUAL CASE STUDY INSTALLATION
A large metal mine approached EcoVAP seeking to increase production capabilities with a ZLD requirement. The operation had previously built four large evaporation ponds that occupied all of its permitted land, thus capping production. As is typical of many mining operations, this mine is remotely located, with limited electricity and no nearby wastewater disposal sites. Without increasing its land footprint, EcoVAP was able to float multiple Evaporative Matrix™ towers on the existing ponds. The floating installation was accomplished by erecting Evaporative Matrix towers on specially designed pontoons with large cables ensuring stability against occasional high winds. The EcoVAP Evaporative Matrix solution consumes a small fraction of the electricity of atomizing sprayers.
ACTUAL CASE STUDY RESULTS AFTER 4 MONTHS
In four months from groundbreaking to completion, EcoVAP was able to install multiple Evaporative Matrix towers to evaporate water at over 59 times the normal rate per square foot of surface space. This was done without any increase in the land footprint of the site, which was previously dominated by conventional evaporation ponds. As a result, this operation will increase mine production and eliminate water disposal as a limiting factor for future growth. Early results suggest the solution will yield 85% lower operating costs compared to the alternative of trucking the wastewater to a disposal site, and 50% lower costs than conventional water disposal technologies.
EcoVAP CTO, Mike Patey, explains that the Evaporative Matrix solution was so effective that the vaporization cadence literally outpaced produced water at the mine. When the EM solution was installed, the tailing ponds were at "freeboard"--the maximum legal limit for filling the ponds. Over the course of the four-month pilot, the evaporation ponds were drained to the point that the towers came to rest on the dry floors. The difference is striking: EcoVAP technology evaporated more produced water at this site over the first few months than conventional solutions had accomplished in previous decades.