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 June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

BMT ARGOSS Awarded OHSAS 18001

BMT ARGOSS, an operating company of BMT Group Ltd. has been awarded the universally recognized standard for occupational health and safety, BS OHSAS 18001. BMT ARGOSS,

Quality hat-trick for GAC Marine Logistics

Global ship spares logistics provider GAC Marine Logistics Inc. (GML) has secured ISO certifications in recognition of its Quality Management, Environmental

BMT Oceanica Wins Major Water Corporation Bid

Marine and coastal environment specialist, BMT Oceanica (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, is delighted to announce that it has won the bid to provide Ocean

Education/Training

Video: RIMPAC 2014 Ships Underway

The U.S. Navy posted a video showing Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014 operations underway. Watch as 42 ships and submarines representing 15 international

MPHRP's Welfare Responder Training in Manila

Few people are as devoted to seafarers’ wellbeing as MPHRP’s partners, which include the members of the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network

NYK Line Hosts Fleet Safety Conference

NYK says it has hosted a safety promotion conference for shipowners and ship-management companies at the NYK head office in Tokyo and at Imabari city in Ehime prefecture.

News

NSRP Risk Management Panel and SCA Joint Meeting

The National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) Risk Management Panel will be meeting jointly with the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) November 5-6, 2014 in Virginia Beach, Va.

US DOE Approves Oregon LNG Export Project

The U.S. Energy Department said on Thursday it has approved Oregon LNG to export liquefied natural gas, as the Obama administration works through applications to

CFOA Schedules Annual Conference

The 2014 Canadian Ferry Operators Association (CFOA) annual AGM & Conference is scheduled to take place September 29-30 in Quebec City. The two-day conference

Marine Science

Huge Waves Measured for First Time in Arctic Ocean

As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water which is predicted to extend

Search for Flight MH370: Update

Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) says that a bathymetric survey of the 60,000km2 search area is well underway, with two vessels, the Australian-contracted

ISS's Innovative Series of New Travel Apps for Cruise Industry

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) the world’s leading maritime services provider, has launched an innovative series of travel apps for the cruise industry in Greece,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.2786 sec (4 req/sec)