Biodegradation of artificial monolayers applied to water storages to reduce evaporative loss

Pittaway, P., Herzig, M., Stuckey, N. and Larsen, K. (2015) Biodegradation of artificial monolayers applied to water storages to reduce evaporative loss. Water Science and Technology, 72 8: 1334-1340. doi:10.2166/wst.2015.348

Author Pittaway, P.
Herzig, M.
Stuckey, N.
Larsen, K.
Title Biodegradation of artificial monolayers applied to water storages to reduce evaporative loss
Journal name Water Science and Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0273-1223
Publication date 2015-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2166/wst.2015.348
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 72
Issue 8
Start page 1334
End page 1340
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher IWA Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Repeat applications of an artificial monolayer to the interfacial boundary layer of large agricultural water storages during periods of high evaporative demand remains the most commercially feasible water conservation strategy. However, the interfacial boundary layer (or microlayer) is ecologically distinct from subsurface water, and repeat monolayer applications may adversely affect microlayer processes. In this study, the natural cleansing mechanisms operating within the microlayer were investigated to compare the biodegradability of two fatty alcohol (C16OH and C18OH) and one glycol ether (C18E1) monolayer compound. The C16OH and C18OH compounds were more susceptible to microbial degradation, but the C18E1 compound was most susceptible to indirect photodegradation. On clean water the surface pressure and evaporation reduction achieved with a compressed C18E1 monolayer was superior to the C18OH monolayer, but on brown water the surface pressure dropped rapidly. These results suggest artificial monolayers are readily degraded by the synergy between photo and microbial degradation. The residence time of C18OH and C18E1 monolayers on clear water is sufficient for cost-effective water conservation. However, the susceptibility of C18E1 to photodegradation indicates the application of this monolayer to brown water may not be cost-effective.
Keyword Dissolved organic matter
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
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