Boat hulls submerged in both sea- and fresh-water environments are gradually colonised by natural organisms, a process called biofouling. Biofouling represents a significant problem for boat and ship operations, as it damages hulls, increases water drag leading to loss of manoeuvrability, delays in shipping and increased fuel consumption, inevitably increasing greenhouse emissions by up to 40%. Current antifouling products are most commonly biocidal, due to their 97% efficacy. These biocides accumulate in the environment and contain components harmful to humans and marine eco-systems in high quantities. Many biocides are gradually being banned in the EU. Although non-biocidal alternatives exist in the form of foul-release agents, these methods have limited efficacy. We, Acorros, have developed ABIO, the first non-biocidal antifouling coating, combining repellence with release to give 97% efficacy up to 2 years! ABIO is harmless to the marine and human environment and requires 44-56% less coating than existing solutions. ABIO readily adheres to hulls without the need for primers and can be removed using a high-pressure water hose, avoiding abrasion or sanding. ABIO offers effective savings in paint and labour costs of up to €720 per application per 10 m boat, in addition to being gentle on the hull and thus preserving its integrity for longer. ABIO can be used in salt- or fresh-water environments and on all hull types: steel, fibreglass, aluminium, wood, and rubber. Minor repairs/reapplication are uniquely possible underwater. ABIO, our most commercially-ready and innovative solution, is a first-mover in effective non-biocidal antifouling coatings, at a time when growth in the antifouling coatings industry is being slowed down by incoming regulations on biocides. We will enter this market via the recreational boating segment, expecting to sell through dealers and wholesalers to achieve a market share of 2.5% by 2025, by reaching 150,000 boat owners at 2,000 marinas.
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