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New Sustainable Paint Helps Boats Use Less Energy

By Desirée Kaplan

While most people don’t see them, barnacles, algae, and mussels latch onto boat hulls and have been a headache for the shipping industry to deal with for centuries. These little creatures create significant issues by adding to the vessel’s weight. They also create drag, so ships have to use more fuel or energy to cut through the water.  

To combat this problem, shipping companies have been using special paints to help keep the tiny army of marine organisms at bay, but that approach often comes at a price as those special paints can pollute the ocean. To find an ideal solution, a team in Germany came together to create a non-toxic paint that keeps organisms off the hulls by making it harder for them to latch on. The result is a win-win solution for the environment and the shipping industry for a few reasons. 

Improved fuel efficiency is one of the most important advantages the new paint offers. For the environment, more fuel-efficient ships mean fewer carbon emissions are released into the environment. For the shipping industry, having to use less fuel to move their ships is a substantial financial saving.