A nature-inspired, non-toxic antifouling agent to prevent organisms’ underwater adhesion.

Summary of the technology

This technology relates to the synthetic pathway for non-toxic, water-soluble antifouling compounds capable of preserving underwater surface integrity.

The compounds developed are environmentally friendly solutions that meet the needs of the market. The agents inspired by natural products are less toxic and economical. The compound's effectiveness has already been proven in the laboratory on commercial marine paints and are more effective than one of the newer biocides. A proof-of-concept in ocean (30 weeks) allowed to obtain promising results compared to a 30% copper formulation.

University of Porto

Details of the Technology Offer

This technology provides a nature-inspired and eco-friendly solution to the underwater adhesion of certain organisms (marine bacteria and mussel larvae) on surfaces known as biofouling, which causes deterioration, systems clogging in boats and contamination. This undesired phenomenon stands as a severe issue to numerous industrial sectors due to costly high maintenance and increased fuel consumption. Also, it contributes to the emission of more greenhouse gases, due to an increase in the ship’s weight caused by the organism-augmented drag friction. Besides, the currently used anti-adhesion techniques imply toxic biocides that cause an even greater environmental burden to marine life. These compounds are compatible with commercial marine coatings, which ease the commercial availability of this underwater surface-protecting agent.


Application in antifouling paints or varnishes composition for protecting underwater surfaces, in particular surfaces submerged in a marine environment.

Current development status

Working prototypes

Desired business relationship

Technology selling

Patent licensing

Joint ventures

Technology development

Intellectual property status

  • Patent already applied for
  • Patent application number :PCT/IB2022/059302

Related Keywords

  • Surface treatment (painting, galvano, polishing, CVD, PVD)
  • Agriculture and Marine Resources
  • Agrofood Industry
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Environment
  • Water Management
  • Marine Environment
  • Rain Water
  • Sustainability
  • Marine products
  • fouling
  • biofouling
  • antifouling
  • underwater

About University of Porto

U.Porto Innovation focuses its activities on research at the University, entrepreneurship within the academic community and U.Porto’s growing connections with industry.

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