Eco-friendly non-biocide-release coatings for marine biofouling prevention(Article)

Science of the Total Environment

Journal Article

Environmental concerns have been changing the way of looking for solutions to problems. The hydrosphere, together with its biosphere, has been feeling the impact of many pollutants, used for instance in the marine industry for economic reasons or lack of knowledge of their effects. In particular biocides, applied as coatings in paints, are released into the waters becoming toxic and persistent extending their action to an area far beyond the initial coated surface they should protect. In order to minimize these side effects, two biocides, Irgarol (I) and Econea (E), were covalently attached to polyurethane (PU) and foul-release silicone based (PDMS) marine paints through an isocyanate linker. Their antifouling bioactivity was better in PDMS coatings, both for single (Econea) and combined biocides (E/I ratio = 1.5) with contents lower than 0.6 wt%. The treated samples remained almost clean after more than one year immersion in the Portuguese shore of the Atlantic Ocean, and after about 24 weeks under the tropical conditions of Singapore (Fouling rate < 1%). Complementary biofilm adhesion susceptibility tests against Pseudoalteromonas tunicata D2 showed adhesion reduction higher than 90% for PU formulations containing single biocides and close to 100% for PDMS with combined biocides. The eco-toxicity assessment evidenced a low environmental impact, in accordance with the European standards. In addition, shipping field trial tests showed the best antifouling performance for the Econea-based PDMS formulations (E = 0.6 wt%), which remained clean for about nine months in open seawaters, proving the efficacy of this non-release strategy, when applied under dynamic conditions. © 2018

P.A. Ramalho

N.F. Azevedo

R. Bayón

A. Igartua

M.J. Calhorda


Year of publication: 2019


ISSN: 00489697


DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.010

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