Idea for a Method for Artificial Reef Wall Construction

(Ztevan Whyte) #1

There already exists a method for creating artificial reefs by using electricity and this is patented however I believe there is at least one other way of doing so that may be more efficient. Please consider the following:

Coral reef is mostly composed of calcium carbonate. The formation of calcium carbonate occurs in different ways. One way is time, another is electricity and last but not least heat.

Since the electricity method is patented I believe the next plausible method is to use heat.

Another interesting thing to note is the fact that while calcium carbonate particles in saltwater are in the presence of existing calcium carbonate crystal formations, an increased accumulative effect is observed.

I believe that a canvas like material that is intertwined with steel wire or chicken wire or thin steel fencing may serve the purpose of being medium for growth of calcium carbonate. Galvanized may work better since zinc is a very active material so perhaps that is more suited. Also since already having calcium carbonate in saltwater promotes growth of more calcium carbonate I would say that the canvas and steel material should already have a thin layer applied before submersion.

I think that two long sheets of this material that are parallel to each other (maybe a foot or less apart) with a steam pipe on the bottom between them may be a plausible method for promoting the generation of artificial reef.

If the canvas type material doesn’t work than maybe something like a steel or galvanized mesh will. And not to mention you could always layer it.

As far as heat transfer of steam and loss of energy I think this can be a problem. Steam would have to be superheated and the carrier pipe would likely have to be made of or encapsulated in a material that retains heat.

As the heat rises the fabric and/or metal mesh absorbs in the upward path and the calcium carbonate will deposit on it. A wider opening at the bottom of parallel sheets or mesh and tapering near the top. So the wall would have a wider base at the bottom and taper to lessen width at the top. Holes in the bottom of the fabric would be necessary to include nearby saltwater to harvest calcium carbonate from.

(.) #2

Would you please point to what patent you are referring to.

(Kerim Tapkan) #3

I think the superheated steam would have adverse effects on marine life around the artificial reef if it is done in situ. It would heat up the surrounding water.

There are environmental regulations that do not allow changing the seawater temperature.

For the heart of europe project we used the electric steel mesh system to grow corals. It worked perfectly fine and we never had to worry about any patents.

(Ztevan Whyte) #4

I believe it is called Biorock and the site is Biorock dot org.

(Ztevan Whyte) #5

The electric method is fascinating and pretty straight forward - I’m not sure about the legal aspects of it though.

The steam is simply the heat carrier through the pipe and is not released into the water. A pressure relief valve would vent the steam out of the water. The pipe would be what gives off the heat by being filled with superheated steam and the water that is near the pipe is heated and rises. As the heated water rises the cooler seawater would be pulled in from the holes near the base of the two or more parallel layers.

The heated water would be sandwiched between the mesh or canvas or whatever so to prevent its impact or minimize impact to surrounding marine life.

The method for calcium carbonate depositing is by the inside of the parallel pieces of canvas or mesh or whatever and not so much the outside.

(Ztevan Whyte) #6

A super cheap way would be to have layers of cloth or fabric that was brushed with iron powder and then to apply voltage and heat via above method.

The iron powder could be reclaimed from recyclables or byproduct of machine shops.

I think the tapered design provides two benefits the first is the obvious structural design is ideal and the second is the fact that as the heated water rises between the layers the thinner space between is formed at the top and then works it’s way down until the space is filled with calcium carbonate. It wouldn’t just fill up there but it would be the narrowest path or gap that gets filled first.


What kind of temperature differences, and time are we talking about?

(Ztevan Whyte) #8

It’s just an idea right now I have no idea the effectiveness or the specifics and definitely don’t have the funds to research.

Maybe if a real scientist sees this it can be helpful towards their endeavors <3

(.) #9

Have you built anything? How does that work? Interesting idea.

(Ztevan Whyte) #10

Have I built anything? As far as this concept goes, no. As for others, I haven’t built anything in the past year or worked at job for about almost six months. I have an injury that I am trying to get treatment for so I’m really limited to just using my brain.

I have dozens of ideas and I just share them sometimes with certain people.

I hope this concept helps and merry xmass and good luck :slight_smile:


Imagine a sponge like membrane with iron particles embedded that would be conductive to build coral. Maybe that is a better route?


(.) #11

Thank you for the ideas. This is a good place to write down ides.
Merry xmass to you too, and welcome to the topic.
I think, Hanukkah is still on , happy that one too.

Welcome to the topic. Sorry about the injury.

All of that is a good idea, where can I get the sponge like membrane, and where
can I get the iron particles?

(.) #12

Hehe-))) a Freudian slip: marry christmas

(Ztevan Whyte) #13

Happy Hanukkah or Chanukah depending on which verse you sing :stuck_out_tongue:

A sponge like membrane… idk maybe literally a foam like material that is coated with iron or iron oxide particles.

Or since the goal is being eco friendly you could try something such as peat moss with the iron dust coating. Maybe add in some calcium carbonate to get the ball rolling or maybe you could use cotton.

All I have come to understand is that in such a process as using electricity to facilitate deposition of a material, surface area is key. The more surface area the better.


I would think that the greater the surface area the more power would be required.

I do believe this would work well and a lot faster than current methods. (Pun not intended)


(.) #14

Well, I thought, this would be your project. I am not going to experiment with this.
But I am interested.

My idea would be to produce charcoal graphitization of seaweed and use that as an electrode.
I did make some measurements. I have done some electrolysis experiments with seawater.

This is how far I am right now. My idea is not to discard anything that works, but my time and
ability is limited.

(Ztevan Whyte) #15

Salt water is conductive so no need to over complicate. Just the distance to the electrode would matter. So an interwoven steel mesh or wire would help with that but still use the iron dust in combination. The wire mess could also help retain the form of the foam or peat moss and help keep it from dissipating off by water erosion.

Peat moss maybe expensive so what about coating rice hulls or straw or saw dust etc with iron dust?

Basically a broad surface area would be desired that would be structurally ideal if encapsulated by calcium carbonate.

(.) #16

Yes, I am for it. You can use whatever you want in your experiments.
Let us know how it works you. I am interested about results also.

(system) closed #17

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