Promoting the antifouling effect of cuprous oxide

A new paper reports a composite coating made of cuprous oxide, biochar and styrene-acrylic resin. Microalgae Spirulina platensis was used to prepare the biochar.

The hull of a ship in a dock.
The biofilm prevention of the new amphiphilic coatings outperforms PDMS-based polyurethane and self-polishing polymer.  Image source: scholty1970 - Pixabay (symbol image).

Biofouling by microalgae and other organism is a harmful phenomenon shared among all floating and subwater facilities. Using the antifouling coatings is the major measure to reduce the adhesion. A new study portrays a kind of composite coating made of cuprous oxide (Cu2O), biochar and styrene-acrylic (SA) resin. Spirulina platensis was used to prepare the biochar by pyrolysis, then different amounts of Cu2O particles were loaded on the biochar by chemical liquid deposition.

Antifouling efficiencies increased

Adhesion experiments with microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and Nannochloropsis oceanica showed that the antifouling efficiencies increased 49.1%, 30.3% for the Cu2O loaded SA coatings (0.05 wt%), and 93.0%, 92.8% for the Cu2O-biochar-SA composite coatings respectively. The synergistic effect of the biocide of copper ions and the photocatalysis of Cu2O improved by compositing with biochar contribute to the promotion of the antifouling performance.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 168, July 2022.

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