Iodine-infused aeration for hull fouling prevention: a vessel-scale study

<p>Biofouling is a significant economic and ecological problem, causing reduced vessel performance and increases in fuel consumption and emissions. Previous research has shown iodine vapor (I<sub>2</sub>)-infused aeration to be an environmentally friendly method for deterring the settlement of fouling organisms. An aeration system was deployed on a vessel with hull sections coated with two types of antifoulant coatings, Intersleek<sup>®</sup> 1100 (fouling-release) and Interspeed<sup>®</sup> BRA-640 (ablative copper biocide), as well as an inert epoxy barrier coating, to assess the effectiveness of aeration in conjunction with common marine coatings. I<sub>2</sub>-infused aeration resulted in consistent reductions of 80–90% in hard fouling across all three coatings. Additionally, aeration reduced the soft fouling rate by 45–70% when used in conjunction with both Intersleek<sup>®</sup> and Interspeed<sup>®</sup> BRA versus those coatings alone. The results of this study highlight the contribution of I<sub>2</sub>-infused aeration as a standalone mechanism for fouling prevention or as a complement to traditional antifouling coatings.</p>