1 comment By Levent Cavas
A very nice review of the recent problems in Antifouling paint market regarding copper's effect on the ecosystem. However, I wonder some points in the paper regarding UV-LED technology. Although main task is to remove fouling organisms from the ships' hull, special care should be taken for fouling organisms. Actually, the fouling process is a "natural" process. Therefore, the anti-fouling processes should be natural. Have you ever seen a shark whom emits UV light to remove fouling organisms from its skin? We should mimic the nature, I believe. Although I do not have the detail of the work of Akzo-Nobel, I know that UV-light can be very dangerous for fouling organisms. The green formulas should be prioritised in R&D studies. Btw, I strongly agree with what Wezenberg said regarding behaviour of the consumers: "consumers of antifouling systems are conservative and generally stick to the system they know and that works". The consumers of the antifouling paints should know that 70 million tons of copper-based biocides, 6 million tons of booster biocides, and 20 million liters of solvent are released into oceans and also atmosphere per year, respectively (1-2). This is not sustainable process and I am not happy with the releasing very stable compounds such as copper, zinc etc in the oceans. The consumers and also readers should also know that the development of a new antifouling agents are so costly. As it has been mentioned in the paper, I found the estimated costs regarding development of an antifouling agents from the published papers (2,3) are “toxicity studies on active substances, 1−3 M€; environmental studies and ecotoxicity, 0.6−4 M€; formulation studies, 1 M€; risk assessments/exposure scenarios expertise needed, 1 M€; dossier preparation, 0.1−0.25 M€; registration fees, 0.1−0.2 M€; task forces, 0.05−0.2 M€”.
In conclusion, we should focus on green antifouling strategies by mimicking the natural strategies occurring in marine organism for the saving the oceans. However, our civilization [in terms of chemistry] is remarkably far from the amazing chemistry of the marine living organisms’ antifouling strategies based on more than million years’ experience in the field of antifouling.
Here is the paper that I cited above:
1. Lejars, M.; Margaillan, A.; Bressy, C. Chemical reviews, 2012, 112(8), 4347-4390.
2. Marechal, J.P.; Hellio, C. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 4623
3. Yebra, D.M.; Catala, P. NACE Int. 2011, 50, 40