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BYEFOULING Report Summary

Project ID: 612717
Funded under: FP7-KBBE
Country: Norway

Periodic Report Summary 2 - BYEFOULING (Low-toxic cost-efficient environment-friendly antifouling materials)

Project Context and Objectives:
Biofouling has profound effects in different branches of maritime activities. It is the major cause for maintenance expenses of any (partially) submerged man-made surface, including ship transport, buoys, aquaculture, but also membrane bioreactors and desalination units, power plants’ cooling water systems and oil pipelines. It poses also a significant problem for all the aquaculture industry, the broadest and the most documented impact being in marine fish aquaculture. The settlement of marine invertebrates on the hulls of ships results in increased erosion, reduction of speed, increased fuel consumption and therefore increased air pollution and CO2 production.

The main goal of the BYEFOULING project, supported in the framework of the Ocean of Tomorrow by the European Commission, is to design, develop and upscale novel low toxic and cost-efficient environmentally friendly antifouling coatings with enhanced performance compared to currently available products. The approach in BYEFOULING is to tackle different stages of the biofouling process using innovative antifouling agents, covering surface-structured materials, protein adsorption inhibitors, quorum sensing inhibitors, natural biocides and microorganisms with antifouling properties. Encapsulation of the innovative compounds in smart nanostructured materials will be implemented to optimize coating performance and cost all along their life cycle. A proof-of-concept for the most promising candidates will be developed and demonstrators will be produced and tested on fields.

The specific objectives of BYEFOULING are:

• obtain coatings with extended service life;
• reduce VOC content in coating formulations;
• reduce fuel costs due to drag reduction in maritime transportation and fishing vessels;
• increase operation life of floating devices;
• reduce fish mortality as a result of conventional biofouling processes and respective control measures.
• reduce maintenance costs;

The project is organized in 8 work packages (WP) and is running from December 2013 to November 2017. BYEFOULING combines a multidisciplinary consortium involving 19 partners from SMEs, large companies, research organisations and universities in Europe, able to develop a full production line for new antifouling coatings. In WP1, the project is coordinated and directed according to a work plan. In WP2, novel compounds, development of interfacial microstructures and preparation and growth of antifouling microorganisms are under development. In WP3, different tools are used to incorporate the new antifouling approaches into coating formulations, including encapsulation to protect compounds from the coating matrices and to enable controlled release of active species, preparation of functional fillers with hydrophobic and biocide-active functional groups, and development of waterborne coating formulations. In WP4, assessment of antifouling performance and benchmarking of the obtained systems with commercial and state-of-art technologies are carried out. Ecotoxicity measurements are performed to investigate the effect of the developed materials in the ecosystems. In WP5, relevant parameters for application of coating formulations in subsequent stages are under testing. In addition, fundamental studies on adhesion of fouling organisms and effects of fouling on biocorrosion are under investigation. In WP6, reliable methods for evaluation of drag resistance of vessel hull coatings and for application of holistic and comprehensive assessment tools such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) are under development. In WP7, demonstration activities will be performed aiming at preparing three types of demonstrators, specifically for ships, aquaculture and buoys. To obtain enough paint and related components, up-scaling of the most promising technologies will be implemented. In WP8, the results will be disseminated and exploited. SMEs and industrial partners will in particular use the developed technology to address new market areas.

Project Results:
In WP1, the internal website (eRoom) for BYEFOULING partners with detailed information on the project was updated to promote an efficient project internal communication. The homepage for public access was regularly revised with open information. EB/MST meetings were conducted monthly. The 24M meeting was held on 25.-26. November 2015 in Aveiro and the 30M meeting was held on 24.-25. May 2016 in Berlin. The 24M interim report (financial and technical) was assessed and reviewed by the MST. The first periodic report was prepared and submitted to the Commission through the participant portal on 18. July 2015. An amendment of DoW/GPFs with minor changes was realised after internal revision of the project at SINTEF.

In WP2, studies on surface structuration, protein adsorption inhibitors, quorum sensing inhibitors (QSI), natural biocides and living active species were carried out. Part of the activities performed were a continuation of the developments reported in the previous reporting period (screening of new compounds, improvement of synthesis conditions, optimization of conditions to extract biomass). In addition, WP2 partners focused most of their final activities in this WP on the extraction, purification and identification of active components present in different extracts, for the most promising systems reported so far. This information, together with efficacy and toxicity testing obtained by WP4 will be used to build different exploitation scenarios and aid in the definition of the most promising technologies for demonstration activities (WP7).

In WP3, partners maintained their activities concerning synthesis and characterization of nanostructured inorganic, organic and hybrid materials that can be used as reservoirs for the encapsulation of active species, including dormant microorganisms with antifouling properties. Optimization of experimental conditions for synthesis, release studies of active species and fitting of kinetic models were done during the present reporting period. The task concerning encapsulation of active microorganisms was completed according to the plan and the results concerning the encapsulation of bacteria spores are quite encouraging. Several partners were also involved in the preparation of nanostructured materials for testing in WP4 and in the preparation of coatings for the second field tests, to be launched in the next reporting period. Additional focus was given to waterborne coating formulations and to the combination of different BYEFOULING technologies aiming at achieving synergistic antifouling actions.

WP4 continued the activities related to antifouling efficacy testing at lab scale (against micro- and macrofouling), mesocosm tests and ecotoxicity testing. In addition, WP4 compiled and processed the results obtained from the first field tests and coordinated the work related to the launching of the second field tests. Finally, compilation of results obtained so far allowed for an appropriate comparison of BYEFOULING substances with commercially available ones.

In the frame of WP5, data about surface characterization were collected and made available to WP6 for modelling purposes. With respect to fundamental studies, partners have done several measurements to investigate the adhesion of cyprids on different coated surfaces and corrosion of mild steel was investigated in the presence and absence of sulphate-reducing bacteria. Furthermore, testing of coating formulations properties such as viscosity, adhesion and stability was carried out for model formulations containing different nanostructured materials produced in the frame of project.

In WP6, partners compiled procedures to estimate the release of antifouling compounds from paints and compared with the parameters required for simulation of environmental concentrations in specific software packages. Experiments were performed to obtain data for validation of models for drag reduction prediction. LCA analysis was accomplished and models refined using data provided by industrial partners. Moreover, selected BYEFOULING technologies were analysed using paint and maritime transportation models.

In WP7, upscaling of active compounds and nanostructured materials was initiated, the design of a 3-D demonstrator completed and the testing of demonstrators defined for the next reporting period defined.

In WP8, several dissemination activities have been realised, including organization of training courses, short visits and specific tools (public website and newsletters) for dissemination. The second BYEFOULING workshop was organised by TAU, in collaboration with ABT and MNOVA.

Potential Impact:
The BYEFOULING project addresses high volume production of low toxic and environmentally friendly antifouling coatings for mobile and stationary maritime applications. The technology will fulfil the coating requirements because of the incorporation of novel antifouling agents and a new set of binders into coating formulations for maritime transportation and fishing vessels, floating devices and aquaculture. Readily available low toxic and cost-effective antifouling coatings will increase the efficiency of maritime industry and be the enabling technology to realize new products.

There are both potential impacts inside and beyond the consortium. Internally, academic partners (universities, research institutes) participating in BYEFOULING will form young researchers in an interfacial field where knowledge on biology, marine sciences, chemistry, physics, materials science and engineering, and coating technology come into play to generate more environmentally-friendly and at same time high performance products. This is a strong positive point when considering high-level education and competitiveness of jobs in the global market. In addition, the generated knowledge will be reflected upon publications in journals of high impact factor, which is always one of the main factors for assessment of public institutions applying for funding supports. From an industrial perspective, the involved SMEs and large industries have a unique opportunity to establish transnational networking and to develop high-level products that can be disruptive in the global market.

Externally, the impact of BYEFOULING can be detailed for different sectors. In the ship transport sector, BYEFOULING will offer more efficient and less toxic antifouling coatings, the operation and lifecycle costs will be significantly reduced, thereby increasing the efficiency and competitiveness of the ship transport industry. Furthermore, the project will contribute to reduce the negative impacts on the marine environment and CO2, NOx and SOx emissions. In the aquaculture sector, BYEFOULING products will improve the performance of marine operations, with better growth rates, improve water quality and provide a better control of disease vectors, reduce costs associated with copper waste disposal, enable lighter structures and improve resistance towards extreme weather and enhance the viability towards more stringent regulations on the use of biocides.

Finally, BYEFOULING is a project that opens new societal insights taking into account national and transnational objectives within EU for the forthcoming years. Specifically, it pertains to several aspects of so-called blue growth. In this sense, BYEFOULING is targeting the generation of new materials coming directly from marine, renewable resources. On the other hand, the impact of antifouling coatings generated in BYEFOULING will have a profound impact on industrial activities directly related to the marine sector.

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