Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Boat Owners Can Fight with New Eco-Friendly Method

04.07.2013
A new eco-friendly method to fight the accumulation of barnacles on the hulls of boats and ships has been developed by Emiliano Pinori in cooperation with colleagues at the University of Gothenburg and the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in Borås.

Barnacles can be found in all marine environments and are a major problem for both small boats and large ships. Barnacles accumulate on the hulls and can reduce the fuel economy of a vessel by up to 40 per cent, increasing CO2 emissions accordingly.


Photography: All photos by Mats Hulander, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg
Photography: All photos by Mats Hulander, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg

Barnacles penetrate the surface
While most marine organisms that attach themselves to hulls – for example mussels and algae – can easily be scraped off, barnacles literally grow into the surface and form dense calcium deposits underneath the paint.

The most common method used to prevent fouling is to mix the paint with a poisonous substance. The poison is then released slowly from the painted hull to discourage invaders, and eventually ends up in the water to the detriment of other marine organisms. This is how for example tributyltin oxide (TBTO), a biocide used in the 1980s and 1990s, led to a global environmental disaster. TBTO was banned worldwide after it was discovered that the use was making oysters and similar animals infertile.

About 90 per cent of the anti-fouling hull paints used today are based on copper oxide, causing large amounts of copper to be released into the seas and oceans.

‘This type of environmental effect cannot be accepted in the long run,’ says Pinori.

Digging their own grave in the paint
Now Pinori has found a new method. With the new method, the paint and the poison are modified so that the poison is kept inside the paint, minimising the release of it into the water. Instead, the barnacle’s own ability to penetrate the paint is used. When the organisms attach to the surface, the poisoning begins.

‘You can say that they dig their own grave in the paint,’ says Pinori.

Zero emissions possible
The toxin used in the new type of paint is ivermectin – a molecule produced by the bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis. A good effect has been achieved with only one gram of ivermectin per litre of paint, or a concentration of only .1 per cent. The effect lasts for many years and can replace the copper currently used in hull paints. The research indicates that only very small amounts of the substance leach into the water.

‘My research shows that the small amounts that are released are unrelated to the effectiveness of the method. This means that if we can eliminate the leaching completely, the effect will not be sacrificed. Zero emissions will be our next goal. We’re looking forward to continuing the development of this method within the EU project LEAF, Low Emission Anti-Fouling. It’s a three-year project that SP has been granted together with Professor Elwing’s group at the University of Gothenburg and other international partners,’ says Pinori.

Title of the doctoral thesis: Low Biocide Emission Antifouling Based on a Novel Route of Barnacle Intoxication
Link to the thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/32814
Link to the project: http://www.leaf-antifouling.eu
Supervisor: Dr. Mattias Berglin, SP Chemistry, Materials and Surfaces, Borås, and the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg, and Professor Hans Elwing at the University of Gothenburg.
Contact: Emiliano Pinori, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg and SP, tel.: +46 (0)705 27 56 13, emiliano.pinori@sp.se

Photography: All photos by Mats Hulander, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg

Annika Koldenius | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>