Groundwater as liquid ore

What is there in the water! It contains all the elements periodic table. But what if we use groundwater as liquid ore to extract the substances we need? It turns out that this is quite possible.

But what if we use groundwater as liquid ore to extract the substances we need? It turns out that this is quite possible

The use of groundwater as a liquid ore has a long history. Back in the 9th-11th centuries, they began to use salt water and brines from the ground to evaporate table salt from them. Such crafts existed in Poland, Germany, Italy and other countries.

Since the 19th century, thousands of tons of Glauber's salt and soda have been mined from underground sources in the world-famous Karlovy Vary spa. During the war 1941-1945. City dwellers have also adapted to get salt from groundwater.

In the 20th century, the use of groundwater as a liquid ore began to grow steadily every year. Now hydrogeologists are looking for water not only for drinking and technical needs, but also as an industrial raw material.

In underground waters such elements as iodine, arsenic, boron, potassium, nickel, tungsten, lithium, copper, lead, zinc, germanium, etc. are found in high concentrations. However, the use of the enormous mineral wealth of underground waters is still at an insufficient level. Its expansion is a matter of the near future.

Probably, the most widely at present is the extraction of iodine and bromine sources from underground waters.

Groundwater containing 20 mg of iodine per liter is considered suitable for the economic use of iodine. In many wells, the iodine content is from 70 to 200 mg/l and even more. Iodine-bromine underground waters are found in many areas: in the Ciscaucasia, Central Asia, Azerbaijan, Siberia. A number of iodine-bromine factories have been built and are operating there.

The quantitative content of some substances in groundwater can be judged from the data of water analyzes. For example, in 1 liter of water from a well drilled in the Western Ciscaucasia, the iodine content was 42 mg and bromine 241 mg.

Experts have calculated that up to 400 tons of iodine and about 5000 tons of bromine can be obtained from just one well during the year with the available productivity.

Often, iodine-bromine waters are associated with oil fields, which is due to the formation of oil from marine plants and organisms that also contain bromine and iodine. In a number of countries abroad, boron, lithium, germanium, and arsenic are extracted from groundwater. But all this is still in relatively small quantities.

The literature contains descriptions of wells producing hot brines, which contain many different metals. So, according to Swedish scientists, in the Red Sea region, hot brines contain iron, manganese, zinc, lead, copper and other metals. All this opens up the possibility of using underground thermal waters containing metals as liquid ore. Thus, the treasures of underground waters await man.

To complete our story about substances dissolved in water, it should be noted that they are often closely related to existing ore deposits. Therefore, for geologists, an increase in the concentration of any element in the aquifer is an indication of the corresponding ore deposit. Based on this pattern, scientists have developed the so-called hydrochemical method of prospecting for minerals. So, groundwater helps to search for ore deposits.