MATETPRO - Matériaux et Procédés pour Produits Performants

Physical Chemistry process for the synthesis of sustainable marine materials for the littoral preservation – EcoCorail

ECOCORAIL:Physical chemistry process for the synthesis of sustainable marine materials for the coastline preservation

Used the calcareous deopist that formed in seawater under cathodic protection by impresed current as natural cement between marine sediments as sands, shells, stones in order to form a conglomerate reinforcing the base of seawall and beachs in order to delate the costal errosion.

Limit the coastal erosion

These ast years, one observe to a considerable increase of the oceanic coastal errosion, due to progressive increase of seawater and violent climate phenomenon. French coast are particularly impacted with the move backwards of sand dune and beachs and also by cliffs erosion for example. Different methods exist in order to reduce erosion and its consequence but are expensive and non environmental respectful. The process we are studying in this research program is a process using an innovative adaptation of the cathodic protection methods that favorise the formation in seawater of a mineral calcareous conglomerate that maintain beach sand and also increase the resistance to landslide and dislocation of the rip-rap. Its impact on the environment is weak (no or few mater transport on the site), and also positif because anthropogenic waste could be integrated to the mineral acretion. Some in-situ realisation have been already performed and have demonstrated its potentiality in different setup. However, the applied conditions of the process remain empirical and should be optimized by research activity. Research will be focus on the germination and growth kinetic in volume of the calcareous deposit. The objective of this project is to highligth some doubts on the process, as well as fondamental than applied (porosity, mecanic resistance) in order to allow its used on a wide scale. 4 academic laboratory belong to this project (University of La Rochelle, University of Caen, CNRS of Caen and university of New-Caledonia) and a compagny (Geocorail SAS).

3 external laboratory are installed in front of the seawater for testing different environmental conditions (tide, immerged, different seawater composition).
A pilote project developped by the compagny (100m of beach and 100m of seawall will be protected against erosion)



no yet

These last years, we attempt to a considerable increased of the erosion of the oceanic coasts that is the consequence of the seawater progressive increased and from violent climate phenomenon. French coasts are particularly affected with a step back of sand dunes and beach as well as cliff erosion.
Such phenomenon impact islands of the south pacific, in New Caledonia for example, threatening habitations. The multiple existing techniques in order to reduce erosion and its consequences are quite expensive, less environmentally friendly.
Recently, a new process developed by Géocorail SAS, used an innovative adaptation of the cathodic protection techniques in order to form a calcareous mineral agglomerate that permit to maintain in place beach sand or improve the resistance to landslide and dislocation of rocks used as seawalls. Its environmentally impact is very low (few materials supply are necessary), even positive. It could give rise to the reduction of some anthropics wastes.
This process, successfully used in situ on various sites, has demonstrated its potentiality and was the patented. On the other and, its application condition remains empirical. Numerous questions remain unknown about the germination and growing in volume of the calcareous scale.
Thus, the objective of this Ecocorail project is to understand all the mechanisms of the process, as well fundamental aspects (germination, growing) as applied aspect (porosity, mechanical resistance) before to apply it in a large scale. This project includes university laboratories (La Rochelle, Caen and New Caledonia) and the company Géocorail SAS.
The first task of the project will consist on studying the mechanisms of germination and growing of calcareous mineral concretion, to determine its properties (microstructure, structure, composition, stiffness, mechanical resistance) and to establish the relationships between formation and resulting properties. These studies will be carried out in laboratory, based on synthetic seawater and also on in situ experiments. Several sites for experimentation are planed in La Rochelle, Luc sur Mer, Wallis et Futuna and a pilot site developed by the company Géocorail SAS.
The second task will deal with the behaviour of the overall structure (agglomerate formed / metallic framework) with respect to corrosion. In the case of a stop of the cathodic protection, the steel in contact with seawater should corrode and corrosion products risk breaking the conglomerate.
Thus, third task will devoted to the valorisation of research knowledge developed in both precedent tasks for technologic transfer toward renovation construction sites and particularly towards pilot building site implemented by GéocorailSAS.
In the fourth task, the conglomerate formed will be tested as potential support with respect to the marine biological settlement. The long-term aim is to create and/or re-constitute life site for the flora and fauna in area originally rich in natural coral but recently destroyed by acidification of the oceans. A parallel objective concerns the ecological monitoring of oceans and sustainable development. This material could be used as a chronological indicator of seawater pollution due to co-precipitation: detection of metallic contaminates (nickel for example) could be performed.
The last task of the project will deal with the use of recycles materials from civil engineering or agro-industrial industry. The objective is to incorporate wastes (concrete aggregate, shell wastes) in the Géocorail formation and then to study the influence of such waste on the growing kinetics and mechanical performance in the conglomerate.

Project coordination

Marc JEANNIN (Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Ingénieur pour l'Environnement) –

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Geocorail SAS Géocorail SAS
CNRS Laboratoire de Cristallographie et Sciences des Matériaux
UR ABTE Aliment Bioprocédés Toxicologie Environnement
UNC-PPME Pole Pluridisciplinaire de la Matière et de l'Environnement
ULR-LaSIE Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Ingénieur pour l'Environnement

Help of the ANR 999,769 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2013 - 48 Months

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