Application of Cocoon – Chemical Salt Extraction United Arab Emirates

The project entails the restoration by process of chemical, salt extraction of the family home of Sheik Mohamed Bin Khalifa in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. The original structure dates back to about 1958 with some alterations over time. The buildings being turned into a museum and the architects in charge of the project wanted to keep as many as possible of the original structure.

a tub of cocoon used for chemical salt extraction
The original concrete structure contains too high levels of concentrations of chlorides and sulphates. These contaminants were introduced during construction; most probably the water and the aggregates used were not completely free of chlorides and sulphates.

The tender required that chlorides and sulphates be removed from the existing concrete structure up to acceptable levels set out by the consultants.

Cocoon Desalination System

Cocoon Desalination System

To assess the effectiveness of the Cocoon desalination system (chemical, salt extraction) a test was performed on Block A, front elevation, the third column at the front entrance.

Normally Cocoon desalination is done by putting a minimum of two consecutive coatings of the materials on the surface. Each coating is left on for a minimum of two weeks.

The result is assessed by three measures:

  • Chloride and sulphate content test on 5 depths BEFORE cocoon is applied
  • Chloride and sulphate content test on 5 depths AFTER the first layer of Cocoon is removed
  • Chloride and sulphate content test on 5 depths AFTER the second layer of Cocoon is removed

Tests were executed by a third-party lab, GTL (Geoscience Testing Laboratory) & ACES and by the Cocoon manufacturer Westox in Australia.

Results clearly show that the average chloride content is within the 0.15 limit set by the consultant.

A total reduction in chloride content of 67.50% is achieved after cocoon treatment.

The project is currently in execution and expected to open to the public by the middle of 2020.


Chemical, Salt Extraction

Cocoon provides an innovative breakthrough in the removal of accumulated corrosive salts.

Applied as an external poultice on the slab surface, Cocoon draws salts out of the structure, protecting concrete and reinforcing from further degradation. For suitable applications, within 4-6 weeks, slabs and reinforcing can be returned to an alkaline environment.

Manufactured from paper fibres, Westox Cocoon is non-toxic. Post-treatment, the waste product is non-hazardous and easy to dispose of.

For more information on Cocoon and the chemical salt extraction process visit our Cocoon product page and  fact sheet


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