OceanScience mission: Protecting the oceanThe fascinating ocean is a home to tens of thousands of creatures. Do you know what the problem our ocean is facing?
When cargo ships are navigating across the world, many organisms including larvae, micro-organisms and algae etc will attach their bodies and form layers on cargo ships.
If this biofouling is over 10cm thick, it will have a negative impact on the cargo ships. First, the fuel consumption will be increased by 30%. If biofueling happens in or around the cooling system, this will reduce the efficiency of heat induction or even block ducts. This could lead to leakage of petrol or even nuclear power. From a military perspective, this may even lead to the loss of stealth function of submarines and speed.
In order to prevent marine biofouling, people began to use highly toxic tributyltin (TBT) and cuprous oxide marine coatings. Although the toxins in the coatings prevent the formation of biofouling, it causes great harm to the marine ecological environment. Some scientists have found chemicals such as tributylene in whales, dolphins, polar bears and other animals. Tributylene is the mostly used toxic substance in those coatings.
After years of research, Professor Peiyuan QIAN, the world’s top scientist and founder of OceanScience, dived to a depth of 5,000 meters on Jiaolong research ship to collect microbial samples on the seabed, and extracted a natural compound from it. The team has then found that it has the quality of anti-fouling. Through the genomics and proteomics research, the lab has developed butenolide (Butenolide) which is a highly efficient and environmentally friendly marine coating. OceanScience will start producing the coating in small batch for industrial use, establish strategic partnerships in the industry as well as getting the market permits.
Without oceans, there would be no life on the earth. We all should pay more attention to and care for the ocean. The innovations from OceanScience will definitely pave the way to better protect our ocean life.