The Aerogel Encapsulation

Simple to Implement

Just one small additive change

A simple modification to standard coating formulations involves substituting free co-biocides with encapsulated co-biocides, which can be easily implemented. Adding silica aerogel does not alter the properties of the base coating.

A harmless inert

The encapsulating material is silica which will undergo hydrolysis in bulk seawater, ultimately becoming inert sand. Unlike other encapsulated materials reliant on microplastics, it is anticipated to have a lasting future. Silica is already employed in coatings as an additive.

Approved biocides

All of the commonly used EU BPR-approved
co-biocides for PT-21 antifouling have been encapsulated. Notably, there is no chemical binding between the aerogel and the co-biocides; instead, it is a physical encapsulation. Consequently, there is no requirement for biocide approval when using encapsulated biocides in commercial coatings.

The material

A silica mesoporous matrix is formed around the biocide particles resulting in an encapsulation with a high loading density (only a small amount of encapsulation material is needed). The encapsulated material can be likened to a sponge surrounding a bar of soap.
On one hand, the sponge absorbs water, enabling the gradual dissolution and release of the soap through its pores for cleaning. On the other hand, the sponge effectively secures the solid soap, preventing it from prematurely depleting.

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