Environmental impact of Zinc/Magnesium Anodes - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-07-2013
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Environmental impact of Zinc/Magnesium Anodes

There was another thread dealing with choosing aluminum, zinc, or magnesium anodes for brackish waters. This same thread was discussed on another non-sailnet forum and the subject of using aluminum anodes came up because they supposedly have less of an "environmental impact". I had replied that I didn't see the concern since Zinc and Magnesium are naturally occurring elements.

After posting that, I realized that Mercury is also a naturally occurring element, but we don't want to start depositing it in our waterways.

So... did a quick search and forgive me if I missed it, but I couldn't seem to find anything on SailNet dealing with the potential for environmental impact of Zinc or Magnesium anodes on the environment. Does anyone out there know of any studies (not opinions) that show that these type of anodes can be detrimental to our waterways?
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Re: Environmental impact of Zinc/Magnesium Anodes

I suspect that there may not be studies on this topic since the amount of zinc or magnesium ions released, even by a marina full of boats is quite small compared to what happened with tin-based anti-fouling paints 25 years ago. Trying to think back to my chem studies many years ago and I don't think these are particularly toxic metals. Could be wrong though.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Environmental impact of Zinc/Magnesium Anodes

Actually zinc is quite toxic to marine life, right up there with copper. At 0.5 ppm everything dies. That is why it is used as a biocide in paints and it's part of why zincs stay clean. However, the area of zincs compared to boat bottoms is pretty small.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Environmental impact of Zinc/Magnesium Anodes

If you look you will find that urban runoff is the primary source of a bunch of things boats get hit for

automobile tires and various roofing materials are one of the primary sources of zink
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Environmental impact of Zinc/Magnesium Anodes

This brings up Future Frogwatch experiment #37341. Coat props with zinc as both anti-fouling and corrosion protection. It is the use of a zinc that supresses a bronze prop from releasing Cu ions thus resulting in fouling of said prop. an un-zinced bronze prop will not foul much at all but may corrode.
Maybe hot dip Zn the props and spin them while the Zn is still liquid to prevent Zn drips.
However, my current prop is a plastic PerfectPitch.
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