Many marine organisms face the same problem as human boat-owners, but for them preventing the growth of other creatures is a matter of survival. It follows that numerous anti-fouling compounds exist in nature. The EU-funded BYEFOULING project developed environmentally friendly anti-fouling coatings with high performance compared to current options. The new coatings are suitable for large-scale industrial production. A major challenge for BYEFOULING researchers was finding and adapting suitable candidate compounds, which involved detailed study of many marine species and their biochemistries. Researchers used various compounds in combination to attack different stages of the fouling process. The team also developed new synthesis methods that could be scaled-up. The compounds include protein absorption inhibitors, quorum sensing inhibitors, and natural biocides. These disrupt specific natural processes by which marine organisms attach to their permanent home, without chemical pollution.
- On 15 March 2020