What Is the Cause of Biofouling?

Published on: 04-19-2022

According to Brian Ladin, if you've ever wondered how to protect a ship from biofouling, you're not alone. This growing problem has become a major concern for shipowners, prompting them to invest significant resources in attempting to control it. Ships must have a management plan that identifies the biofouling risk and develops a strategy to address it. Antifouling systems are coatings applied to solids that prevent the growth of unwanted organisms. SealCoat systems, for example, have small fibers poking out of the coating surface to prevent microbes from attaching to it.
The biofouling community is made up of a diverse group of organisms, including algae, seaweed, and calcareous mollusks. The resulting film is typically made up of dissolved organic matter, with bacterial adhesion being the most common type. These organisms are extremely diverse and are frequently classified as hard or soft fouling. Seaweed and algae, as well as microfouling organisms, are examples of non-calcareous fouling organisms found on a variety of surfaces. These organisms produce biofilms, also known as'slime,' which can be difficult to remove.
Biofouling occurs almost all year in temperate environments (5 to 20 degrees C). It does, however, exhibit strong seasonality, with most spawning occurring between April and early October. Despite its widespread prevalence, the temperature of the substrate has little influence on the growth of biofouling in this climate. The following are a few important factors that contribute to the problem of marine biofouling.
Climate change is also a major concern. It has an impact on coastal industries and threatens biodiversity. Biofouling can also reduce ship speed by up to 10% and necessitate a 40% increase in fuel. It is critical to recognize that climate change will most likely result in many major changes in the marine biofouling community, and that addressing it will help save both the environment and the marine industries. You might be surprised to learn that the problems caused by climate change are similar to those caused by invasive species.
Brian Ladin believes that the depth of the water influences the structure of biofouling communities. Summer temperatures are much higher than in polar areas, so biofouling will be less intense. Biofouling in tropical and subtropical areas, on the other hand, is much more common and intense. Furthermore, warmer water allows for year-round reproduction and accelerates the growth rate of biofouling organisms. This explains the apparent paradox of marine biofouling in these locations.
In addition to reducing ship performance, biofouling can have an impact on structural integrity. Kelp, calcareous tubeworms, and bryozoans are the most common organisms that cause biofouling. Microfouling promotes corrosion, whereas macrofouling may facilitate MIC. Biofouling is a serious issue for marine environments, regardless of the cause. So, how do we protect our marine equipment from marine biofouling?
To determine the changes in biofouling assemblages associated with different cleaning events, this study used a Before-After-Control-Impact sampling design. Divers identified organisms attached to the hull from 50 points, in addition to measuring biofouling. They were then classified into broad taxonomic groups. Species-level identification was also possible with some sample collections. For more information, please see Campbell et al.
PNNL scientists have also developed quantitative fouling measurement techniques and novel approaches to biofilm monitoring. SLIC is one such example of an innovation (Superhydrophobic Lubricant Infused Composite). This material is ten times more slippery than Teflon and has a liquid layer that prevents organisms from settling. The researchers are investigating how SLIC can aid in the prevention of corrosion in marine renewable energy systems. Biofouling is a complex problem that necessitates a multidisciplinary approach.
To control biofouling, seaweed and other organisms use a technique known as grooming. Pedicellaria are used by some seaweed species to groom one another. Others use a technique known as shedding their outer layer. These methods are effective at controlling both types of biofouling. For example, if a marine organism uses a pedicellaria to groom another animal, the organism will automatically remove the biofouling from the host.
Biofouling data from across Europe has been published in an online database, which includes biofouling maps from a variety of locations across Europe. Ecoregions are denoted by yellow Roman numerals, and sites are distinguished by the number of biofouling sampling records. Each site is meticulously mapped and classified based on species composition and thickness. For more information, go to the European Biofouling Database (ECB).
Brian Ladin thinks that biofouling is caused by the accumulation of unwanted biological materials on surfaces. It carries significant financial and health risks. Bacteria, barnacles, salt crystals, and corrosion can all be found in biofilms. Finally, biofouling is a massive issue. As a result, it is critical to control and prevent the issue. It is critical for marine environments to have biofilm-free surfaces. If you do nothing, biofouling could become a major issue for your marine vessels.

There are many benefits to using Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) as a fuel for boats


Demand for environmentally-friendly fuels has grown as a result of growing worldwide commerce and transportation LNG is gaining popularity as a shipboard alternative fuel. It improves air quality, particularly in port towns, while reducing emissions and expenses associated with conventional marine fuels. Read this article from CNBC to discover more about LNG's advantages for the maritime sector.


Brian Ladin said that Conventional marine fuel oil is a fossil fuel, however LNG is more ecologically friendly. To bridge the gap between crude oil and biofuel, it offers a 10-20% improvement in cleanness over crude oil. Even if oil prices have fallen recently, its use as an alternative to fossil fuels has been hindered by this. However, due to the high cost of LNG, container, cargo, tanker, and tanker transportation has become more dependent on its usage.


LNG is a superior alternative to conventional fuel for the maritime sector. In contrast to the previous fuel kind, this one is more costly and requires more ship room. Using the new LNG technology, the ship can travel longer distances without storing too much oil. However, the ship's fuel consumption will be reduced as a result of a bigger tank.


In addition, the marine industry provides a broad range of additional advantages. When it comes to environmental laws, the maritime sector may benefit from LNG. In accordance with the norms of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), LNG reduces hazardous emissions and local particulates. LNG, on the other hand, is a lot less costly than high-priced low-sulfur heavy oil.




Brian Ladin stated that Natural gas (LNG) has environmental benefits as well. Ecological concerns are mounting for the maritime sector. LNG is not only more cost-effective than most traditional fuels, but it also has environmental advantages. Another advantage is that it is inexpensive. In addition, traditional ships may operate using LNG. Many ship owners favor LNG because of its cost-effectiveness and better safety. With regards to the maritime sector, the advantages of using LNG are many.




Natural gas liquids (LNG) are an ecologically beneficial alternative to gasoline and diesel. The maritime sector is increasingly concerned about its environmental effect. Pentland Ferries and CalMac, a new LNG ship just launched by the Scottish government, are two such examples. LNG can only be transported by a single kind of LNG-powered ship now. LNG's advantages extend to the maritime sector as well.


Natural gas (LNG) is environmentally friendly and affordable. It produces less pollution than coal and oil when compared to traditional maritime fuels. In addition, it's better for the environment. It is the primary ship fuel and is widely accessible. For the most part, it's a fantastic alternative to ship. It's less expensive, but it also saves you money. There are several benefits to using LNG in ships.


Conventional naval fuels have a number of drawbacks, while LNG has several advantages. It's ecologically friendly, and it's clean and efficient. Shippers may benefit the environment by utilizing LNG, which is crucial for a stable climate. As a result, the oceans will be cleaner and less polluted. Not only does this save money but it helps the environment.


Brian Ladin added that Natural gas (LNG) is a green alternative, as well. It has a lower carbon footprint than diesel and gasoline. As a result, LNG cruise ships would need two times as much tank capacity as traditional cruise ships, according to the study. Fewer cabins equate to fewer paying customers. Additionally, it is difficult to locate LNG filling stations. Because of this, the shipowners of these new boats are now investigating the potential benefits of LNG as a propulsion source.