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Geological Survey of Finland Is the First in the Nordic Countries to Acquire a Water Analyzer to Promote Sustainable Mining Operations

Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) enhances its water treatment research by acquiring a continuously operating water analyzer that provides a real-time view of the process, side streams and the contents of wastewater. This enables, for example, addressing the spreading of potentially detrimental chemical elements into the environment more efficiently. The first Epsilon Xflow device acquired for the needs of the mining industry in the Nordic countries will be delivered by Malvern Panalytical.

Water pilot

The system will be operational early in the autumn. It will be installed in a mobile water treatment pilot unit, owned by GTK together with Savonia University of Applied Sciences. The advantage is that the whole system can be transported to the customer’s site for pilot testing.

Mine water management is globally a very important issue with respect to both the environment and material efficiency. Using Epsilon Xflow to obtain a view of the composition of water through real-time analytics during the process enables faster control of the processes of chemical elements. This also applies to the seepage water flows of existing mines. Useful, recyclable compounds, as well as compounds detrimental to the environment, can be extracted better from them.

“We are constantly developing our research infrastructure with the latest equipment and prototypes we develop ourselves. The equipment we have now acquired enables real-time water analytics in the water treatment pilot and decreases the time needed for piloting,” says Antti Pasanen, team manager, GTK.

“At Malvern Panalytical, we hope that the precise, continuously operating online analyses of Epsilon Xflow will help GTK achieve their goals in the water treatment pilot project. Our global support network can also help GTK outside Finland. The EDXRF measurement technology used in Epsilon Xflow is based on Malvern Panalytical’s decades of XRF knowledge,” says Jarmo Lohilahti, sales manager, Malvern Panalytical.

In the water treatment pilot project, we study and develop water treatment methods and technologies on a scale larger than laboratory tests. Our pilot equipment can be transported to the customer’s site to optimize the parameters of a planned water treatment plant for both treatment efficiency and the recovery of valuable substances. For the acquisition of the Epsilon Xflow system, support was received from the Regional Council of Pohjois-Savo under the EU’s Regional Development Fund program.

The system will first be used in the Morecovery project. It involves developing metal and mineral recovery services on the laboratory and pilot scale to improve the use and recycling of raw materials. The project, funded by EIT RawMaterials, seeks to create a service concept for assessing the recovery potential for these raw materials.

More Information

Antti Pasanen, Team Manager, Geological Survey of Finland
antti.pasanen@gtk.fi, +358 29 503 3630

Jouko Nieminen, Head of Unit, Geological Survey of Finland
jouko.nieminen@gtk.fi, +358 29 503 2180

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Geological Survey of Finland: Solutions for more sustainable growth

The Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) produces impartial and objective research data and services in support of decision-making in industry, academia, and wider society. GTK employs more than 400 experts specialising in the mineral economy, circular economy, solutions related to energy, water and the environment, as well as digital solutions. GTK is a research institution governed by the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, operating in Finland and globally.

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How Does the Water Analyzer work?

Epsilon Xflow measures in real time the elemental composition of the liquid sample. The liquid sample is taken from the process with a sampler, prepared for the analysis in sample conditioner, and measured in the sample cell using the Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence, EDXRF, technology. The results are reported automatically to the LIMS or automation system for process control and optimization purposes.