Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 56, Issue 7, pp 598–612 | Cite as

Progress of marine biofouling and antifouling technologies

  • Shan Cao
  • JiaDao WangEmail author
  • HaoSheng Chen
  • DaRong Chen
Open Access
Review Materials Science


Adhesion of marine fouling organisms on artificial surfaces such as ship hulls causes many problems, including extra energy consumption, high maintenance costs, and increased corrosion. Therefore, marine antifouling is an important issue. In this review, physical and biochemical developments in the field of marine biofouling, which involves biofilm formation and macro-organism settlement, are discussed. The major antifouling technologies based on traditional chemical methods, biological methods, and physical methods are presented. The chemical methods include self-polishing types such as tributyltin (TBT) self-polishing copolymer coatings, which despite its good performance has been banned since 2008 because of its serious environmental impact. Therefore, other methods have been encouraged. These include coatings with copper compounds and biocide boosters to replace the TBT coatings. Biological extracts of secreted metabolites and enzymes are anticipated to act as antifoulants. Physical methods such as modification of surface topography, hydrophobic properties, and charge potential have also been considered to prevent biofouling. In this review, most of the current antifouling technologies are discussed. It is proposed that the physical antifouling technologies will be the ultimate antifouling solution, because of their broad-spectrum effectiveness and zero toxicity.


biofouling antifouling technology biofilm adhesion mechanism 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shan Cao
    • 1
  • JiaDao Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • HaoSheng Chen
    • 1
  • DaRong Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of TribologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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