Synergistic Fouling Control Technologies
Marine biofouling represents the unwanted colonization of marine organisms on surfaces immersed in seawater. It has a huge economic and environmental impact in terms of maintenance requirements for marine structures, increased vessel fuel consumption, operating costs, greenhouse gas emissions and spread of non-indigenous species. Conserving the marine ecosystem and reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires the development and utilization of innovative and environmentally benign fouling control coatings.
The SEAFRONT project will deliver i) cost-effective coatings solutions with reduced environmental footprint as determined by comparative life cycle and eco-efficiency assessment, ii) 50% improvement in biofouling deterrence and/or biofouling release measured using newly developed test methodologies, iii) hydrodynamic drag reduction resulting in a consequent 5% improvement in operating efficiency of vessels, all compared to the latest state-of-the-art commercial coatings.
SEAFRONT will release an electronic newsletter quarterly to its stakeholders containing the
highlights of the progress of the project and latest international developments. Additionally, a vibrant website will be created containing major project results, important events and conferences on marine biofouling and breakthrough developments at international level. SEAFRONT will contribute to standardisation by active participation in international committees predominantly via partner and market leader International Paint. In particular, input will be given to CEPE Antifouling Working group which directly inputs into the EU regulatory process for authorising Biocides and Biocidal Products Directive.
The IPPIC Antifouling working group holds strong relationships with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) responsible for global policy regarding conservation of marine ecosystems.
SEAFRONT contributes to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive by thorough investigation of environmentally benign and sustainable antifouling solutions designed to prevent introduction of biocides, hydrocarbons and heavy metals to the marine environment. SEAFRONT's approach will not only take into account today's REACH regulations, but also anticipates future regulations by avoiding any potentially harmful chemicals that could become restricted by REACH at some point.
With a multidisciplinary consortium, SEAFRONT will consider three different technology concepts and combinations for the development of environmentally benign fouling control coatings. Studies aimed at developing an enhanced mechanistic/fundamental understanding of the relationships between coating properties and hydrodynamic drag, biofouling settlement, biofouling release and biocorrosion along with establishment of new test methodologies will be conducted in separate research work packages. They will run continuously and in parallel with technology development work packages.
The latter will have to select candidate technologies for integration/combination and/or progression to the benchmarking, standardisation and end-user field trials.