Experiments were carried out on ash derived from an ENEL coal combustion power plant for use as a component in artificial reef blocks. After preliminary laboratory tests to establish the optimum block hydrated lime-coal ash ratio and to determine their leaching capability in sea water,
systematic physical, chemical and biological tests were carried out on reef models in an experimental plant. Ash and concrete cubic blocks (20 × 20 × 20 cm), the latter used as reference, were arranged in pyramid shaped reef models inside two trial tanks supplied with flowing sea
water. After one year of tests encouraging results have been obtained. No weathering, volume variation or swelling were found; on the other hand, marked compressive strength and sonic velocity increases were recorded. In the tank (water and blocks) chemical tests showed no significant leaching
phenomena for chemical elements of environmental concern while laboratory tests showed the blocks' limited leaching capability (ppm) for macrocomponents such as Al, Si, Ca and to a lesser extent (ppb) for hazardous elements like As, Cr, Se, Tl. Studies on biocolonization clearly showed that
benthonic settlement on ash blocks was more evident than on concrete ones and that there was a greater number of species and biomass quantity. Chemical tests also showed no bioaccumulation phenomena.
The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.