Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 9

Appendix D

Public policy of More Aqua Inc. and water quality impact and public
perception of using monolayer films to reduce evaporation

More Aqua, Inc.

This report quotes extensively from:
Evaporation Reduction by Monolayers :Overview, Modelling
and Effectiveness, David McJ annet, et al., CSIRO, 2008

Water is essential to life. As a result, people are intensely concerned with its quality and
availability. Water is also an important commodity. As a result, powerful political and
economic forces are involved with its provision. MAIs innovative technology should be
attractive to all those interested in making best use of existing water resources. The
technology provides great savings in the capital and operating costs of water provision.
It reduces environmental impacts, by avoiding the construction of additional reservoirs
and pipelines. It addresses water insecurity needs at costs within the reach of most of
the worlds population.

However, having a strong case does not ensure acceptance. New technologies are
often misunderstood or implemented in ways that create needless opposition. In order
to secure a fair judgment of its technology, MAIs corporate strategy incorporates the
following elements, each with local, national, and global components:

Comprehensive product stewardship. MAI will guarantee the highest standards
for all aspects of its operations, including the quality, manufacture, and disposal of
chemicals; the operation of facilities and suppliers; the recruitment and training of
personnel; and the acquisition of permits and land.

Strong science. MAIs team includes leading scientists, who are instructed to
look for problems, so that MAI can anticipate and address them. It wants to be the first
to know about problems so as to protect its brand and allow its leadership to focus on
expanding the firm, rather than putting out fires.

Proactive public engagement. MAI will monitor its current and anticipated
operating environments in order to identify groups and individuals affected by it. It will

proactively engage these people, both to establish itself as a trustworthy partner and to
take advantage of their knowledge regarding potential problems and opportunities.

Policy analysis. MAIs will maintain situational awareness of the political, social,
and regulatory environments relevant to its operations. It will analyze its findings in
terms of constraints, threats, and opportunities. These analyses will inform the product
development and deployment.

Robust communications. MAI will create scientifically validated materials
explaining all aspects of its operations, so as to secure proper understanding and avoid
possible misunderstandings. It will disseminate them through diverse communication
channels, allowing for recipient feedback, so that it can help its scientists produce the
data that its stakeholders need.

Water quality impact and public perception of
using monolayer films to reduce evaporation

Some researchers believe that the effects of monolayer on aquatic processes are
relatively benign due to the fact that most water bodies already have naturally occurring
micro layers that are formed by the break down of organic material (Norkrans, 1980).
The earliest evidence for the existence of surface films was inferred from observations
on the movement of dust particles on the surface as affected by water currents
(Goldacre, 1949). Studies indicate that the thickness of these natural films varies from
100 to 500 nm (Munster et al., 1998). In contrast, artificial monolayer films may be 40-50
nm thick (Gladyshev, 2002). Any study on the longer term impact of artificial monolayers
needs to compare their impact relative to local natural microlayers, and the impact of
naturally occurring microlayers on the efficacy of artificial monolayers. If ecological
equivalence can be established, the adverse impacts should be minimal.

Potential water quality impacts fall in to three categories: those that result from
breakdown of the chemical product itself; those that relate to changes in gas transfer
across the air water interface; and those that result from changes to the energy balance
of the storage.

Gas transfer effects

An effect of chemical layers is to increase the species or concentration boundary layer
thickness () at the water surface (MacRitchie, 1969). The transfer of gases across the
water surface in this boundary layer will be controlled by diffusion. The thicker the
boundary layer the longer the path length will be and the larger the change in flux and/or
the concentration in the water phase. The changes are likely to cause dissolved carbon
dioxide concentrations to increase and oxygen concentrations to decrease. The increase
in carbon dioxide concentration could decrease the pH of the water. Decrease in oxygen
concentration by diffusion will be mitigated by the oxygen production of algae. This could
result in higher daytime concentrations of oxygen when algae are photosynthesising
and lower night-time concentrations when algae are respiring. The thicker boundary
layer due to a monolayer or surface film will result in possibly less diffusion of oxygen
into or out of the water body depending on the time of day.

Blank (1962) analysed the effect of different monolayer types on the diffusion of different
gases. The results of his laboratory analysis suggested that the effect of monolayers on
oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange can be neglected. Similar findings were reported
by Timblin (1957) and (Hayes, 1959), however other research (e.g. Downing and
Melbourne, 1957; Hawke and Alexander, 1960) suggest that at higher gas transfer rates,
monolayers considerably reduced the passage of oxygen and other gases. Wixson
(1966) showed that at 20C the application of a monolayer reduced oxygen diffusion by
10-15%, however effects varied with timing of measurements and duration of trials.

The inconsistent results with oxygen diffusion may relate to two factors; firstly some
organic solvents such as n-hexadecane are known to act as an oxygen vector,
increasing the oxygen available to microbes (Liu and Wu, 2006). Hexadecanol or its
breakdown products may also improve the solubility of oxygen at the water interface.
Secondly, hexadecanol and to a lesser extent octadecanol, are rapidly metabolized by
adapted microbes, due to the similarity of their structure to C16 bacterial storage
compounds. The subject of gas exchange processes warrants further long-term

Chemical breakdown effects

It has been suggested that bacterial activity is responsible for at least part of the
degradation of monolayers. Silvey (1960) noted a pronounced increase in bacteria that
feed on the monolayer chemicals and also reported encouragement of growth of certain
sedges by the deposition of solid recompressed chemical on the leeward shore. Wixson
(1966) also noted increased bacterial populations over the duration of trail as the utilized
the monolayer as a substrate. Unfortunately, the monolayer selected for the earlier
monolayer trials (hexadecanol), is also the most microbial labile of the long-chain fatty
alcohols (Pittaway Pers. Comm.). Bacteria utilize polyhydroxyalkanoic acids,
triacylglycerols and wax esters as storage lipids (Uthoff et al., 2005). Wax esters are
oxoesters of primary long-chain fatty alcohols and long-chain fatty acids. In nature, long-
chain fatty acids and alcohols are widespread in plant species, and may constitute from
2 to 70% of the cuticular wax composition of grasses (Dove and Mayes, 1991).
Hydrophobic organic compounds in the microlayer are derived from debris in the
catchment, and include n-alkanes, n-alkan-1-ols and sterols (Berdie et al., 1995).

Relatively simple monolayer compounds such as hexadecanol are readily degraded,
reducing their cost-effectiveness as evaporation retardants. During large scale field tests
at Lake Hefner in 1958 the influence of monolayer (hexadecanol) on water quality was
carried out. Three months of monitoring revealed that there were no deleterious
effects from the application of the monolayer (Matthews, 1959). Other studies which
have looked at the effect of hexadecanol layers on fish, ducks and aquatic insects have
failed to reveal any toxic effects (Hayes, 1959; Timblin, 1957). Another effect of
monolayers on natural ecosystems could be Modeling and Effectiveness through the
reduction in surface tension. Organisms dependant upon the support of the surface at
various life stages may be adversely affected. This has been shown to be the case by
Hayes (1959) with respect to the emergence of immature insects. The study of Wixson
(1966) showed that the mixture of octadecanol and hexadecanol monolayers reduced
surface tension, causing filamentous algae to sink. This same study also showed no
effects of the monolayer on the fish species Gambusia affinis and Fundulus notatus.

Monolayer materials are alcohol based and break down in sunlight to an acid and then
final products of CO2 and water. Permeability of the monolayer to CO2 may be an issue
as CO2 in solution forms an acid which may affect pH although the amount of CO2
produced by the degradation of monolatyer could be several orders of magnitude
smaller that natural absorption of CO2. Further observations of this are required.

The production of CO2, which is a greenhouse gas, may also be of concern given the
areas to be treated and sustained nature of applications. It is worth noting that Aquatain
has achieved NSA International certification (NSF/ANSI Standard 60 - Drinking Water
Treatment Chemicals - Health Effects). This standard establishes minimum
requirements for chemicals, the chemical contaminants, and impurities that are added to
drinking water from drinking water treatment chemicals. Contaminants produced as
by-products through reaction of the treatment chemical with a constituent of the drinking
water are not covered by this standard. Details are available from the supplier.

A further area for consideration is the impact of water quality changes and the
monolayer product itself (including breakdown products) on water treatment processes
and costs. Some of the transformations possible due to monolayer application may
reduce some treatment requirements while others may require further extra treatment.
Either way a detailed analysis of effects on the water treatment process would be
essential before full blown trials on potable water supplies. In these studies
it would be necessary to determine the reaction of monolayer or surface film chemicals
with membranes, filter media, chlorine, chloramines, fluoride, pH correction products,
and alum.

Changes to the energy balance

Modeling results and field monitoring (Harbeck and Koberg, 1959; Wolbeer, 1963)
suggest that water temperature will rise with application of monolayers and such
changes are likely to impact upon chemical processes occurring in the water. The rise in
temperature of the water has also been shown to reduce the effectiveness of the
monolayer, with a reduction in the resistance at the same surface tension (Navon and
Fenn, 1971b). Also, as the water temperature is raised the saturated oxygen

concentration is decreased, which could lead to lower dissolved oxygen concentrations
(Figure 7). Increased water temperatures also have the potential to increase the risk of
algal blooms.

In summer, the combined effects of high water temperatures and lower diffusive flux
could result in changes in the oxygen concentrations in the water and may have
biological consequences (i.e. algal blooms). These effects would need to be monitored
over a reasonably long period of time in order to understand all of the nuances.

Public perception of using monolayer films

Addressing public perception and concerns is very important especially in cases when
the monolayer is used on drinking water. Our plan however is to initially address
evaporation over water used for irrigation and industry. It is important to note and inform
the public that monolayer materials such as hexadecanol and octadecanol are extracted
from palm and coconut oils so they are organic and not synthesized substances. In
fact palm oil contains vitamin A and antioxidants.

In addition in some regions where water shortages are an acute problem, such as in the
Southwest, it might be possible to obtain endorsement from environmental group such
as the Sierra Club. Evaporation retardation may increase water availability that could
promote or restore in turn biodiversity. Because water shortages are acute problems for
many communities, it would be imperative not only to quiet local public concerns but also
to mobilize the local public and authorities to promote the use of monolayer that could
help us to further expand with the support from one community to other regions and
address other communities as well.

Emission of CO2 from biodegrading of monolayer should be addressed by emphasizing
that the fact that CO2 has been sequestered in the first place by the vegetable used for
monolayer production such as palm and coconut. Anyway, the amount of CO2 emission
is too small to worry about.

Monolayer reduces surface tension and therefore makes it impossible for mosquitoes to
walk on water causing their drawing. Because of that, monolayer films can be used for
mosquito control. However, this effect might cause good insets to also be killed.
Further research into this is expected to be initiated not by our company, but by
academia in the regions of monolayer implementation using government funds.

Will evaporation suppression contribute to climate change?

One potential issue is the perception that large scale evaporation suppression will
contribute to climate change. This possibly thorny issue will be addressed by More
Aquas climatologist. Most of the moisture in the atmosphere is due to evaporation from
the ocean and overland evapotranspiration. It is easy to show that evaporation from the
limited size of water reservoirs is minuscule in comparison to the water vapor already
existing in the atmosphere.

Our calculations were based on possible regional climate change in Texas. Accordingly,
if evaporation suppression is implemented on all reservoirs in Texas, the moisture
content in the atmosphere over Texas will be reduced by about 0.2%, an unnoticeable

Finally there are several companies that sell monolayer film materials used for
evaporation reduction, energy saving on swimming pools and mosquito control. These
companies received government and other labs approval testifying that the product is
free of toxins and safe. We plan to study these approvals and to use them in endorsing
our usage of monolayer materials.

Environmental reports on commercial monolayer products:
WaterSaver of International Flexible Solutions, Inc.

Smartpool surface films


Berdie, L., Grimalt, J . and Gjessing, E., 1995. Hydrocarbons, alcohols and sterols in the
dissolved +colloidal and particulate phases of the waters from a dystrophic lake,
Skjervatjern Lake (Norway). Water Research, 29: 2017-2030.

Blank, M., 1962. The permeability of monolayers to several gases. In: V.K. La Mer
(Editor), Retardation of evaporation by monolayers: Transport processes. Academic
Press, New York, pp. 193-202.

Dove, H. and Mayes, R., 1991. The use of plant wax alkanes as marker substances in
studies of the nutrition of herbivores: A review. Australian J ournal of Agricultural
Research, 42: 913-952.

Downing, A.L. and Melbourne, K.V., 1957. Chemical conservation of water. J ournal of
the Institute of Water Engineering, 11(5): 438-442. 85.

Gladyshev, M., 2002. Biophysics of the Surface Microlayer of Aquatic Ecosystems. IWA
Publishing, London, United Kingdom.

Goldacre, R., 1949. Surface films on natural bodies of water. J ournal of Animal Ecology,
18(1): 36-39.

Hawke, J .G. and Alexander, A.E., 1960. The influence of surface active compounds
upon the diffusion of gases across the air-water interface, 3rd International Congress of
Surface Activity, Cologne, pp. 184-188.

Harbeck, G.E. and Koberg, G.E., 1959. A method of evaluating the effect of a
monomolecular film in suppressing reservoir evaporation. J ournal of Geophysical
Research, 64(1): 89-93.

Hayes, M.L., 1959. Biological effects of hexadecanol used to suppress water
evaporation from reservoirs, Fort Collins Colorado, Colorado State University.

Liu, Y. and Wu, J ., 2006. Use of n-hexadecane as an oxygen vector to improve Phaffia
rhodozyma growth and carotenoid production in shake-flask cultures. J ournal of Applied
Microbiology, 101: 1033-1038.

MacRitchie, F., 1969. Evaporation retarded by monolayers. Science, 163(3870): 929-

Matthews, G.D., 1959. Review of Lake Hefner Results, Water-loss investigations: Lake
Hefner studies. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, pp. 85 pp.

Navon, U. and Fenn, J .B., 1971a. Interfacial mass and heat transfer during evaporation:
I. An experimental technique and some results with a clean water surface. AlChE, 17(1):

Norkrans, B., 1980. Surface microlayers in aquatic environments. Advances in Microbial
Ecology, 4: 51-

Munster, U., Heikkinen, E. and Knulst, J ., 1998. Nutrient composition, microbial biomass
and activity at the air-water interface of small boreal forest lakes. Hydrobiologia, 363:

Silvey, J .K.G., 1960. Physical, chemical and biological effects of hexadecanol on Lake
Hefner. J ournal American Water Works Association, 52(6): 791-802.

Timblin, L.O., 1957. Preliminary toxicity studies with hexadecanol reservoir evaporation
reduction. Chemical Engineering Laboratory Report No. SI-10, U.S. Bureau of

Uthoff, S., Stoveken, T., Weber, N., K., V., Klein, E., Kalscheuer, R. and Steinbuchel, A.,
2005. Thio wax ester biosynthesis utilizing the unspecific bifunctional wax ester
synthase/acyl coenzyme A:Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase of Acinetobacter sp Strain
ADP1. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 71(2): 790-796.

Wixson, B.G., 1966. Studies on the ecological impacts of evaporation retardation
monolayers. TR-6, Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A & M University, Texas.

Wolbeer, H.J ., 1963. The calculated efficiency of monolayers in relation to increased
water temperature, International union of Geodesy and Geophysics. International
association of scientific hydrology. General Assembly of Berkeley, pp. 13-23.