Title and Abstract

Development of a Photovoltaic BiorockTM System


Many tests and studies with galvanised iron mesh cathodes and iron/lead anodes immersed in seawater have proved that the role of electrochemical processes in the accretion of minerals (Hilbertz, 1979). After a solidly accreted cube was obtained, parts of beach sand volumes between electrodes were contained in 10-gallon-tanks and saturated with seawater and solidified (Ibid.). Power was supplied throughout the experiment, and fresh sea water was added to replace the water lost through evaporation and electrolysis (Ibid.). This became what is now known as the BiorockTM System. The aim of the BiorockTM system was to save coral reefs around the world that are dying due to coral bleaching. The BiorockTM system encourages and supports coral growth, allowing the corals to “focus” more energy in resisting the harmful substances in their environment and adapt to them. The BiorockTM system can be built with a cathode and an anode. The anode can be an iron/lead rod, connected to a positive output while the cathode can be an iron mesh which is connected to a negative output. Coral will then start growing on the iron mesh (cathode) after a while. However, the BiorockTM system is unable to be self-sustainable. We wanted to build a self-sustainable BiorockTM system where it would be powered by a solar panel. We tested our setup with coral chips to see if calcium carbonate would deposit on the iron mesh (cathode). We found out that calcium and carbonate were indeed present in the deposit that were in the iron mesh (cathode). Now that we have a working self-sustainable photovoltaic BiorockTM system, we will be able to build a much larger version of our setup where it would be placed in great reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef to encourage coral growth and reducing the effect of coral bleaching.


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