Russian scientists created an effective protection of the courts from biofouling

Biogrowth is a process in which the surface of the hull of the ship or another construction that dwells in the aquatic environment, begin to multiply different organisms. In the case of ships, as a rule, bivalves (gressani, clams, ship worms, etc.), barnacles, polychaetes, algae and other creatures. Researchers from Saint Petersburg state University (SPSU) has established a unique coating that can protect the surface from this unpleasant process, thereby saving the owners an impressive amount of time and money.

To assess the importance of the discovery of Russian scientists, just imagine that the fight against biogrowth in the world annually spend more than $ 100 billion. Often for protection from the coating of hulls and remaining in the aquatic environment designs are used paints and varnishes with toxic copper compounds. Done then it is to substances kill living organisms, not allowing them to gain a foothold on the surface. Of course, all this is not lost on nature. Poisons accumulate in the water and living creatures in it, spread and disrupt entire ecosystems. More and more cases when people are poisoned by fish due to its high content of copper.

The staff of the University marine zoologist Alexander Railkin and Professor-biochemist Hoping Kulevoy — managed to find environmentally safe compounds that can be used as protection of surfaces from biofouling. The innovative coating is tested in natural conditions in the basins of the White and South China seas, and at this moment we are testing compounds in starfish and disputes marine brown algae in the laboratory “Observatory of environmental safety” St. Petersburg state University.

“I have created a special index that allows to compare the performance of our chemicals and industrial paints with copper compounds. It turned out that the new coating is almost 100% protect from fouling and is not inferior to the already used, but does not harm the environment,” shares the details of his discovery, Alexander Railkin.

Russian scientists have also explored the question of patterns of attachment of organisms to solid surfaces. This occurs most often in the early stages of development: initially temporarily and then permanently. The reason is that the body must be as hard to increment to the ship to avoid being ripped off by the current. The researchers came to the conclusion that to affect the organisms necessary to stage a “temporary fix”, until the moment when they finally grow to the surface.

There, researchers do not stop. In the near future, scientists from St. Petersburg state University jointly with chemists from the Institute of synthetic rubber of academician S. V. Lebedev plan to test as protection from biofouling nitric oxide. This molecule reversibly changes the function of proteins, directly affecting the ability of larvae of different organisms to attach. In addition, scientists are also looking for a way to reduce the toxicity of the classical compounds containing copper. Russian scientists believe that their development will be in demand all over the world, given the scale of the problem of biofouling.

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