Getting to the bottom - Minimising biocide emissions from antifouling paints on leisure boats and ships
Research Project, 2022 – 2025

Vessel hulls are commonly coated with biocidal antifouling paints to prevent the attachment of marine organisms and thus avoid an increased fuel consumption. The paints act by releasing toxic substances (biocides) directly into the water around the hull. Antifouling paints are regulated within the EU by the Biocidal Products Regulation which dictates that they should not be toxic beyond necessity, i.e. have a higher release of biocides than what is necessary for their efficacy. However, due to the lack of methods to measure the biocide release rate in the field, there is insufficient knowledge on the minimum required release for antifouling paints to be effective in different European waters. At present, it is therefore difficult, if not impossible, to verify that a product is not unnecessarily toxic. The proposed project therefore aims to develop methods for the measurement of release rates of different biocides and perform field studies to determine the minimum required release rate of biocides in different European marine waters. The methods will also be used to assess if and to what extent a reduction in biocide emission may be possible for products currently on the market. The project findings will be communicated to relevant stakeholders with an overall aim that the provided methods and knowledge will enable the phasing-out of excessively toxic antifouling paints and encourage the development of more sustainable products.


Maria Lagerström (contact)

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies



Project ID: 2021-02027
Funding Chalmers participation during 2022–2025

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