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Water Science & Technology Vol 65 No 6 pp 1137–1141 © IWA Publishing 2012 doi:10.2166/wst.2012.959

Testing the effectiveness of monolayers under wind and wave conditions

C. Palada, P. Schouten and C. Lemckert

School of Engineering, Griffith University, Parklands Drive, Gold Coast, 4215, Australia E-mail: carlos.palada@griffithuni.edu.au


Monolayers are highly desirable for their evaporation reducing capabilities due to their relatively minimal cost and ease of application. Despite these positive attributes, monolayers have consistently failed to perform effectively due to the harsh wind and wave conditions prevalent across real-world water reserves. An exhaustive and consistent study testing the influence of wind and wave combinations on monolayer performance has yet to be presented in the literature. To remedy this, the effect of simultaneous wind and wave conditions on a benchmark high-performance monolayer (octadecanol suspension, CH3(CH2)16CH2OH) has been analysed. Subjected only to waves, the monolayer remained intact due to its innate ability to compress and expand. However, the constant simultaneous application of wind and waves caused the monolayer to break up and gather down-wind where it volatilised over time. At wind speeds above 1.3 m s−1 the monolayer was completely ineffective. For wind speeds below this threshold, the monolayer had an influence on the evaporation rate dependent on wind speed. From these results a series of application protocols can now be developed for the optimised deployment of monolayers in real-world water reserves. This will be of interest to private, commercial and government organisations involved in the storage and management of water resources.

Keywords: degradation; evaporation; monolayer; waves; wind

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