Friday, July 20, 2012

Vanadium pentoxide compound for steel plating against micro-organisms

Environmentally friendly and efficient means to deposits on vessels found
Unwanted passengers

Marine fouling caused worldwide annually costs billions of dollars.

Vanadium pentoxide particles were applied to small stainless steel plates. After two months in sea water showed that, unlike other boards, no traces of infestation treated by annoying Mikroorganismen.Tremel Research Group, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

T├╝bingen. Ships will no longer be affected by algae, bacteria, fungi or barnacles. The chemist Wolfgang Tremel, University of Mainz, found a new and efficient remedy. Klaus Jochum from the neighboring Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, the process underwent a week-long test, which was successful.

The damage has been building the very first ships in the ancient world is well known: to collect and ship hulls are often happy in the course of a few weeks, significant quantities of parasites in that it can make in a short time even difficult to manage.

Algae, bacteria or barnacles on the hull at the wheel and in some cases even affect the seaworthiness and can lead to an enforced break for the whole ship, if the residues are removed laboriously by hand or with primitive means, such as cleaning brushes need.

Currently, the costs of disabilities caused by algae, bacteria and mussel sentence estimated at around 200 billion € per year. As a result of increased vessel resistance also incur extra costs for fuel, which can reach up to 28 percent of total costs. Finally, the increased parasite Mittransport of CO2 emissions, which can be up to 250 million tons annually. The currently available new cleaning agents have the disadvantage that commercially available biocides are only slightly effective, have undesirable environmental impacts or the adhering microorganisms become resistant to the treatments.

Highly toxic acid
In this gap the treatment of ship hulls comes with vanadium pentoxide. The scientists of the Max Planck Institute found that treatment with this new drug, the group developed by Wolfgang Tremel, "an intrinsic, biological processes Bromierungsaktivit├Ąt imitative" features. The vanadium pentoxide thus functions as a catalyst, hydrogen peroxide and bromide forms small amounts of hypobromous acid, which is highly toxic to many microorganisms, while showing strong antibacterial effects. The necessary reactants are present in sea water: hydrogen peroxide formed in small quantities when exposed to sunlight, bromide ions are also present in the sea. The weeks in sea water held before vanadium pentoxide, which had been applied to small metal plates, was measured by the Max Planck researchers with highly sensitive ICP-mass spectrometer on a regular basis. As a result, the usual vanadium concentrations in seawater were increased only slightly.

Commercialization is imminent
Thus it can be assumed that at most only small amounts of vanadium can be leached from the paint, but are not harmful to the environment. The researchers in Mainz are now marketing the new, as well as high-impact environmentally friendly cleaning products. But the environment will thank you.