Recently, British scientists have found a new way to effectively solve the problem of attaching barnacles and other algae on ships. They used nanotechnology to develop a special coating that successfully removed the marine life attached to the ship.

The successful development of this product is of great significance. The problem of attaching creatures to ships is a problem for ship owners around the world, which costs billions of pounds a year to clear such creatures. And not only the shipping industry, but also private yachts, desalination plants are also suffering. Ships that consume algae consume more fuel and increase carbon emissions; pipelines in desalination plants are often blocked by bacteria and algae.

Algae and barnacles become natural enemies of the ship. The Greeks used asphalt to deal with them, and the Romans found that copper nails released toxic substances to help kill them. But the actual effect is not obvious, and the problem is still a headache for the whole world.

Once a ship is attached to algae or barnacle, its speed is reduced by 10% and fuel consumption is increased by 40%. The global shipping industry costs nearly $10 billion a year.

Shipowners have used an antibacterial paint to solve this problem, which effectively kills any attachment on the surface of the ship. But twenty years ago, scientists discovered that tributyltin, a major component of the paint, caused sex changes in the organism, and it could also affect other organisms along the biological chain, so it was banned globally. Copper-based compounds are a substitute, but they do not kill attached algae and barnacles, but only prevent them from entering important locations on the ship.

Recently, scientists have melted carbon nanotubes into the paint by a thousand times smaller than human hair, and developed a way to prevent algae and barnacle attachment. Carbon nanotubes can change the surface of the paint at the molecular level, and when the ship moves, the attached organism can be easily washed away.

Related Information:

Barnacles are crustaceans, barnacles. The barnacle is a cluster of grayish-white, calcareous shells attached to the rocks on the beach. Its shape is a bit like a horse's teeth, so people living on the beach often call it "horse teeth." The barnacle can not only attach to the reef, but also attach to the hull, and it can't be washed away by the wind and waves. After each peeling, the barnacle will secrete a sticky barnacle nascent gel, which contains a variety of biochemical components and strong adhesion, thus ensuring its strong adsorption capacity.

The habit of fixing the barnacle makes it often attached to the bottom of the ship, increasing the resistance to navigation, affecting the speed of the ship, and consuming more fuel. The annual cost of eliminating barnacles in the world is as high as $10 billion.

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