Marine Fouling: Surface Texture Investigations May Provide Solution

marinelink.com
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Measurements and sampling in progress.

Investigating surface texture could offer a non-toxic solution to marine fouling. Engineering and marine biology experts at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China are using innovative approaches to develop non-toxic solutions to the global problem of marine fouling, in the hope of reducing its environmental and economic costs.


Marine industries have long sought chemical solutions to the problem of marine fouling but now researchers at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) are using innovative approaches to look at how surface texture can be used as a non-toxic solution. Marine fouling occurs when organisms, including red and green algae, hydroids, scallops, mussels and encrusting organisms such as barnacles and tubeworms, attach themselves to submerged surfaces such as ships’ hulls or oil rigs.

For the first time, existing research on surface structures and their effect on organisms’ ability to attach has been reviewed and the UNNC research team is using this information to develop new surfaces that can be used to prevent marine fouling from occurring.

The team – made up of engineering and marine biology experts – will test surfaces in the water at Meishan Port, a new deep water port on the east coast of China close to where UNNC is based.

They hope that the work, which is a new line of investigation, will lead to the development of a surface that will provide a non-toxic solution to the problem of marine fouling, moving away from chemical-based solutions that have been investigated since the international ban on the use of tributyltin (TBT).

TBT is an effective but highly toxic chemical that was in widespread use until it was banned in 2008 due to its detrimental effects on marine life, which included severe deformities in shellfish and the accumulation of tin in other species.

The ban has led to significant effort being focussed on the search for an effective, environmentally friendly antifouling solution that can reduce the estimated US$1.5-3 billion spent a year on antifoulants and the repair and maintenance of offshore infrastructure required as a result of this natural phenomenon.

Marine fouling occurs worldwide and is an issue for most marine industries, from offshore oil and gas, to fishing equipment, to cooling systems, and can lead to huge economic and environmental costs.

On ships, for example, marine fouling can cause corrosion and deterioration of the hull, as well as increased friction, slowing the ship’s manoeuvrability and increasing drag and therefore fuel consumption. This increased fuel consumption and the output of greenhouse gases, causes environmental as well as economic costs.

The transportation of invasive species around the globe, which may then cause huge damage to sensitive ecosystems, has also been a serious side-effect of marine fouling that occurs on cargo ships.

Felicia Wong Yen Myan, a PhD student whose paper The interaction of marine fouling organisms with topography of varied scale and geometry: a review forms the basis of this line of investigation, said: “The huge environmental and economic costs associated with marine fouling mean it is crucial that effective, environmentally friendly solutions are found.

“Our research aims to find solutions that are capable of striking the balance between the economic needs of the aquaculture industry with the concerns of environmentalists, who are increasingly seeing the detrimental effects of invasive species being transported around the world.

“While a solution is a little while from being found, our research represents a definite shift away from chemical-based solutions to looking at how surface structures might contribute to a non-toxic way of dealing with marine fouling.”

This research reflects The University of Nottingham Ningbo China’s (UNNC) focus on working to contribute to China’s national priority to develop its marine economy knowledge and industry. A new £25m International Academy for Marine Economy and Technology will foster collaborations with industry, support China’s marine economy and contribute to the development of Ningbo’s port, which is one of the largest and most significant in the world.
 

Maritime Reporter October 2013 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

NAVTOR, AWT Agreement Marks Next Step in E-navigation

NAVTOR has signed an agreement with maritime weather routing specialist Applied Weather Technology (AWT) that will see the two companies integrating their services

Emissions Scrubber Receives Class Approval

Langh Ship received final class approval from Germanischer Lloyd for its exhaust gas cleaning system on m/s Laura (pictured), a 1996-built a 6,500 DWT general cargo

‘Green’ Hybrid-powered Research Vessel Christened

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk christened a larger, “greener” new research vessel on Friday, September 26 in preparation for launching a new era in examining,

Education/Training

BCG Upgrades Virtual GMDSS Simulator

Buffalo Computer Graphics (BCG) Inc. released an updated version of its Virtual Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (VGMDSS) Simulation software. BCG’s VGMDSS

Gazprom Constructs Sports Complex in Stavropol

Stavropol hosted today a groundbreaking ceremony of a versatile sports & recreation complex of Gazprom. The sports & recreation complex will include a 50 meter Olympic swimming pool,

New Simulation Tool for Collision Reconstruction

BMT ARGOSS and BMT Surveys, subsidiaries of BMT Group Ltd, the international design, engineering and risk management consultancy, announced an innovative new service

News

Livorsi Launches New Throttle Lineup

Livorsi Marine introduced the all new Platinum Series throttles, which they say are designed to be more ergonomically comfortable to the operator while being lighter

Henderson, Hanes & Associates Opens Doors in Miami

Ocean Engineering/ Naval Architecture Firm Brings Innovation to the Mega Yacht Community The Miami-based ocean engineering and naval architecture firm of Henderson & Associates, Inc.

Austal Launches Trenton (JHSV 5)

Second Joint High Speed Vessel to be launched at Austal in 2014 On September 30, 2014, Austal USA successfully completed the launch process of Trenton (JHSV

Marine Science

General Dynamics Bags $ 50 mi Submarine Contracts

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics was awarded two contract modifications totaling $50 million to continue supporting

Swissco Doubles Rig Fleet

SGX Mainboard-listed Swissco Holdings Limited an integrated, international marine services provider, today announced having completed the acquisition of four additional mobile offshore drilling units,

General Dynamics takes Rudy deLeon on Board

The board of directors of General Dynamics has elected Rudy deLeon to be a director of the corporation, effective September 30, 2014. DeLeon is a senior

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1968 sec (5 req/sec)