Eden, a company developing novel techniques to increase permeability and characterize geologic reservoirs, announced today that it has been selected as part of a project team to receive $3,517,450 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for a project titled “Integrated Electro-Hydraulic Fracturing and Real-Time Monitoring for Carbon Negative In-Situ Mining”. The funding is part of the ARPA-E MINER program, which prioritizes funding technologies that support novel approaches to increases the mineral yield while decreasing the required energy, and subsequent emissions, to mine and extract these energy-relevant minerals. This project is being led by Idaho National Labs, who has been working closely with Eden to develop the technology for hard rock permeability enhancement applications. Colorado School of Mines is also a sub-awardee on the project, and will be leading a novel effort to utilize Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensing” (DFOS) to monitor fracture processes and chemical reactions in the subsurface during operations of Electrical Reservoir StimulationTM.
“While we started developing our electric rock stimulation technology to increase heat transfer fracture volume to maximize power production in geothermal reservoirs, we soon realized the implications of our method goes way beyond geothermal,” said Paris Smalls, CEO and co-founder of Eden. “Sustainable and controlled subsurface permeability enhancement can greatly reduce the environmental impact of mining lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, and other energy relevant minerals by pre-weakening the rock before mining operations. This allows for reduced water consumption, energy comminution, and mining tailings. In the very near future, we will also adopt our technology for other hard rock applications, including increasing the permeability of tight mafic/ultramafic reservoirs for geologic hydrogen production and CO2 sequestration, and decreasing the number of newly drilled wells and water required for re-fracturing unconventional reservoirs. It’s a very exciting time to be at Eden!”
The project team consists of world class researchers at Idaho National Laboratory, Colorado School of Mines, and Stony Brook University, and Eden. These institutions will work together to study the processes of electric rock stimulation, CO2 injection during mining operations, and DFOS monitoring into the mining workflow.
“Combining our novel rock permeability enhancement technology with DFOS will allow us to both increase and measure permeability evolution more accurately in CO2 reactive ore bodies,” said Dr. Rafael Villamor-Lora, lead experimental scientist at Eden and Co-PI on the project. “This will allow our mining partners to unlock new sources of energy relevant minerals, while drastically decreasing their environmental footprint.”
Successful development of the technology will be essential to meet global critical mineral demands and achieve 2050 net-zero decarbonization goals.
Eden GeoPower Inc. (“Eden”) is developing a novel “Electrical Reservoir Stimulation” technology to increase subsurface permeability with minimal environmental impact. Market applications include geothermal heat recovery, mining, geologic hydrogen, and unconventional reservoir re-fracturing. Eden is headquartered at Greentown Labs in Somerville, MA, the largest clean technology incubator in North America. The company is supported by Good Growth Capital, Ameren, NSF-SBIR, and DOE ARPA-E. For more information, visit www.edengeopower.com.
ABOUT ARPA-E MINER – 2022
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $39 million in funding for 16 projects across 12 states to develop market-ready technologies that will increase domestic supplies of critical elements required for the clean energy transition. The selected projects, led by universities, national laboratories, and the private sector aim to develop commercially scalable technologies that will enable greater domestic supplies of copper, nickel, lithium, cobalt, rare earth elements, and other critical elements. The Biden-Harris Administration has remained focused on strengthening the critical materials supply chain as rare-earth elements are necessary to manufacture several clean energy technologies—from electric vehicle batteries to wind turbines and solar panels. President Biden has underscored the importance of deploying energy sources that reduce carbon pollution, lower costs for families and businesses, and ultimately mitigate the impacts of climate change. Learn more at: https://arpa-e.energy.gov/programs/miner.