Cleantech Inn

Materials, Transport: I-tech

I-tech

Green substance prevents growth on ship’s hulls

I-tech develops innovative products. One such product is a paint for ship’s hulls that counteracts the growth of barnacles etc. The technique has been developed at Gothenburg University and Chalmers. In collaboration with the marine industry they have determined to develop the most effective and environment friendly product that will meet the demands of the shipping industry and thereby reduce fuel consumption.

I-Tech have developed a new and innovative antifouling product that stops barnacles and other crustaceans attaching themselves to the hulls of boats and ships. The product, which is added to conventional paints that are used to coat the hulls of ships, is slowly released whilst the ship is at sea. By preventing the crustaceans from fouling to the hull, the hull maintains a smooth finish that reduces friction as the boat glides through the water, an action that reduces fuel consumption. Traditional antifouling paints poison life forms that try to attach themselves to the hull. I-Tech’s Selektope™ works pharmacologically and causes any animal life that attempts to adhere to the hull to become hyperactive. This very selective and specific effect means that the concentration of Selektope™ is kept to a minimum when compared to other antifouling substances such as cupric oxide.

Selektope™ is a marine biocide and as such it is subject to a registration process with the appropriate authority in the country of usage. In the EU this is governed by the biocide directive, a comprehensive piece of legislation that puts high demands on safety and effectiveness. Selektope™ is currently reaching the end of this registration process and is expecting preliminary acceptance for usage sometime during 2011. In conjunction with this process, a development programme has been started with marine paint manufacturers to find the paints that will work best with Selektope™.

Per Jansson CEO

In general terms, transportation by ship is an effective and efficient mode of transport throughout the world. However if it is to be a sustainable alternative there are still a number of problems to solve. One such problem is the growth of algae and barnacles on the hull, both of which slow the vessel and add to fuel costs. I-tech has developed a smart, eco cyclic product that prevents barnacle growth on the ship’s hull. The product is also copper and other heavy metal free.

MIKAEL MOLIN
Cleantech Inn Sweden, 14 January 2011

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