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In a joint project, researchers at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology have developed environmentally friendly and effective bottom paints to prevent the colonisation of hulls by algae, barnacles, mussels and other organisms.
The research focus has been on a substance called medetomidine, which has proved highly effective against barnacles. To tackle other types of fouling, the researchers have developed a concept for producing optimised combinations of different antifouling agents, or biocides.
These optimised blends have been combined with hi-tech paint systems based on microcapsules – microscopic capsules made out of a polymer material, which slowly release the biocides from the paint into the water.