Markus Andersson Trojer
Our environment is polluted by a variety of different chemicals. One significant source of emissions is the uncontrolled leakage of biocides from antimicrobial and antifouling products. We, therefore, have the need to develop a sustainable antifouling technology that significantly reduces the dispersal of biocides into the environment.
The major threat posed to our health and environment by toxic chemicals is now widely accepted by the public and regulatory authorities. In recent times, particular concerns have been raised concerning the interaction of toxic chemicals to produce a greater common threat, a process commonly known as synergy. Biocides are of particular interest given the fact that these are specifically designed to be toxic to organisms.
One major problem with current biocidal products is that the choice of biocide is not optimised and the biocide leaks out too rapidly. This broad product category encompasses everything from antibacterial clothing and hygiene products to fishing nets and antifouling paint for boat hulls. To compensate for a rapid loss of antibacterial effect, products are overdosed with biocides, leading to an unjustifiable quantity of biocides leaching into the environment.
One of the interim objectives of the project is to investigate the combinational effects of two common classes of biocides with a large potential for synergism.
The project will also apply the above results to developing a sustainable antifouling or antimicrobial fibre material. There are two cornerstones to this technology:
The concept is based on the biocides acting synergistically with the product’s surface, while the synergistic effect disappears as biocides are diluted farther away from the product surface. While the impact on fouling organisms close to the product's surface will be maintained, the impact on non-target organisms in the environment will, therefore, be negligible.
Chalmers University of Technology Lars Nordstierna