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Electrolysis, Halogen Oxidizing Agents and Reef Restoration
Poster Title: Electrolysis, Halogen Oxidizing Agents and Reef Restoration
Submitted on 13 Jun 2016
Author(s): John W. Koster and Donald C. Potts
Affiliations: University of California, Santa Cruz
This poster was presented at 13th International Coral Reef Sympsium
Poster Views: 1,018
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Poster Information
Abstract: Applications for electrolysis of seawater include preventing fouling in piping systems, conditioning water for aquaculture and reef restoration. Electrolysis creates a variety of chlorine-produced oxidants that attack essential proteins of living tissues and react with organic materials, metals, other compounds (e.g., ammonia, nitrites) and organic materials (e.g., amines). The Biorock® process developed by Dr. T.J. Goreau and Dr. W. Hilbertz uses electrolysis for restoring reefs and enhancing growth and survival of corals. It is believed to act by elevating pH and alkalinity at the cathode and/or by reducing enzymatic costs for pumping cations and anions across cell membranes by providing an appropriate electrical gradient (Goreau, 2013). We hypothesize that a third mechanism for enhancing organisms may also be involved: inhibition of microorganisms by halogen oxidizing agents. Applying Faraday's laws of electrolysis for a system at 8.0 amperes and 90% efficiency gives an estimated ~230 grams of chlorine per day (equivalent to ~70 liters of gas at STP). In nature (i.e., an open system), diffuse follow-on reaction products (including hypochlorous acid, hypochlorite, hypobromous acid and hypobromite ion) may benefit macrobiota via inactivation of microbial pathogens and competitors, or by other improvements to water quality, as long as concentrations are too low to harm larger, ecotoxilogically less vulnerable organisms.Summary: New hypothesis regarding electrolytic reef restoration.References: 1. Goreau, T.J. & Hilbertz, W. (2013). Reef Restoration Using Seawater Electrolysis in Jamaica (presented at Eighth International Coral Reef Symposium, Panama, 1996). In: Innovative Methods of Marine Ecosystem Restoration. Goreau, T.J. & Trench, R.K. (Eds.). CRC Press: 35-45
2. Goreau, T. J., Cervino, J. M. & Pollina, R. (2004). Increased zooxanthellae numbers and mitotic index in electrically stimulated corals. Symbiosis. 37: 107-120

3. Goreau, T.J. & Hilbertz, W. (2005). Marine ecosystem restoration: costs and benefits for coral reefs. World Resource Review, Volume 17, No. 3: 375-409

4. Goreau, T.J. (2013). Marine Electrotherapy, Practice and Theory. In: Innovative Methods of Marine Ecosystem Restoration. Goreau, T.J. & Trench, R.K. (Eds.). CRC Press, 263-290

5. MacDonald, R.W. & Wong, C.S. (1977). The Interaction of Chorine and Seawater. Institute of Ocean Sciences, Patricia Bay, Victoria B.C., Canada, Pacific Marine Science Report 77-6Report abuse »
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