Combining engineering and biologic approach to coastal protection has been a challenge. …And natural coastal protections such as coral and boulder reefs, are one of the most endangered and stressed ecosystems on Earth.
At Aalborg University we are developing a disrupting technology to produce artificial limestone. The innovative material is obtained after electrolysis of sea water: thanks to the imposed electrical current, the calcium carbonate precipitates on a metal frame frame that could be of any shape and size. In the picture, it is arranged in small caissons that could be used for coastal protection or scour protection for offshore structures foundation, such as wind turbines.
Some of the advantages are :
- better LCA than reinforced concrete
- the material is produced where it is used
- the material is self repairing: the mineral precipitation continues for as long as an electrical current is provided.
- physical and chemical properties of the material indicate that it mimics coral reefs properties in term of resistance to wave forces, porosity and mineral and chemical composition. It is therefore highly compatible with the marine environment.
- Freedom of sizes and shapes
- Possibility of dumping excess power production from offshore wind