Len Donovan
CFO
Phoenix Plastics
/
Insight

Cost Efficiency Can Be Environmentally Friendly

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 13:10

A general rule of life is that it comes with many a twist and turn, and the story of cutting-edge pond floats is no exception. Originally manufactured as balls for the amusement of children at McDonald’s or Chuck E. Cheese’s, these simple yet highly useful devices have evolved into an essential water-management element in the mining industry. The first step in the process came when a gold mining company had the spherical gimmicks coated in carbon black, an ultraviolet inhibitor, to protect the material from sunlight. The black ball floats would be used to cover cyanide leach ponds, keeping water fowl out. Then came the turning point. As Len Donovan, CFO of Phoenix Plastics reminisces: “We knew the round shape was not very efficient in covering a surface area and hence developed a hexagonal structure that provides greater surface coverage and wind resistance as opposed to traditional spheres.” The modern hexagon float with its myriad applications was born.
Hexagon floats are a low-cost solution for reducing water evaporation in various industries, such as agriculture, oil and gas, municipal water and mining. For the latter, this technology solves an entrenched issue. Birds are naturally attracted to the reflection of light off of water surfaces, and insist on landing in cyanide and sulfuric acid leach ponds. This is a relevant environmental concern. By reducing aerial visibility of ponds, hexagon floats solve this problem. Phoenix Plastics’ floats are made of high-density polyethylene, a strong UV inhibitor. They provide over 15 years of service and are virtually maintenance-free. In addition, they reduce evaporation and odor, as well as the abatement of algae, bacteria and pathogens threatening the fluid’s condition.