The University of Sussex team has worked extensively on development of coatings technology that has a multitude of potential applications in the field of pollution, ranging from prevention of fouling of ship hulls to improved fuel efficiency, from identification of contributing sources to better supply-chain management of the movement of goods around the world.
Through the ability to “tune” graphene, coatings can be made to react differently in contact with water and other substances. Such surface coatings have far-reaching potential for marine vessels, buildings and renewable energy efficiency in general. Water based nanocomposite based coating technology can also be used to affect the surface properties of a range of materials. Graphene paint coatings can produce a super-hydrophobic coating that can be used in a range of applications where hydrodynamic flow is important. The coating can also be tuned to prevent adsorption of both synthetic and biological entities with applications in biofouling prevention.
The team considers this to be an eighteen month path to producing tuneable coatings with varying commercial applications.
Further opportunities in anti-fouling coatings exist in glass/windows and solar technologies as well as electrical conductance applications.