A Game-Changing Idea to Save the World’s Coral Reefs

InfinitPipe® is a technology that allows a pipe of any length to be manufactured on site, lowering transportation and maintenance costs. This technology – currently being developed and deployed for agriculture, mining and other applications -- is applicable to the problem of coral bleaching, which is affecting Australia's Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs around the globe.

Coral bleaching occurs when the water around the coral gets too warm. When that happens, the coral expels the algae living in it, causing the coral to lose its vibrant colors and turn white.

The InfinitPipe® idea is to install a pipe that would direct cooler water from deeper in the ocean up to the area of reef where coral live. A pump would also be installed and could be powered via wave motion.

We are currently seeking government or environmental organization support in providing funding and testing this fiscally sound and practical idea.

The InfinitPipe® Approach

This innovative proposal is to manufacture a durable, lightweight, single-piece pipe that is long enough to continually feed cooler water from nearby greater depths to the heat stressed coral in the shallows. The system uses a floating Wave Energy Converter (WEC) to power the pumps needed to maintain constant flow of cool water.

The low-cost solution is possible thanks to the on-site manufactured InfinitPipe®, first introduced by Prof. Mo Ehsani in 2012 after several years of development by his infrastructure renewal and repair company, QuakeWrap, Inc. InfinitPipe® received the 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Innovation Award as the world’s first green and sustainable pipe.

"The use of conventional pipes would make this solution cost-prohibitive," Ehsani says. "Our system uses clean, renewable, infinite sources -- nearby deeper sea water as the coolant, and wave motion from the surface for the pump electricity. The result is an environmentally sustainable solution requiring minimal on-site disruption or daily maintenance."

Here is just some of the international coverage this bold idea has received since its announcement:


Slideshow 1
Popular Science: A different kind of pipeline (with illustration)
“Ehsani’s proposal is simple, low cost and potentially sustainable. It would use energy generated by ocean waves to pump cool water to the heat-stressed corals through a durable, lightweight pipe he designed… ”

Slideshow 2
Manufacturing: Could Composites Help Save Coral in the Great Barrier Reef?
Could coral reefs be saved by a pipeline? That’s the dream of an engineer with an innovative idea to address the effects of climate change.

Slideshow 3
National Academy of Engineering: Saving the Coral Reefs
Could coral reefs be saved by a pipeline? That’s the dream of an engineer with an innovative idea to address the effects of climate change.

Slideshow 1
National Public Radio: Professor Working On Solution To Coral Reef Damage
Mo Ehsani is a civil engineer who spent much of his career designing carbon fiber products to repair crumbling buildings and bridges. But now he’s got a new use for one of his inventions: a low cost, sustainable pipeline that would deliver cool ocean water to the overheated areas that are hurting the corals.