Now that it has explored the mechanical and anticorrosion properties of graphene, Carbon Waters is determined to develop a broad-spectrum antifouling additive to limit the spread of viruses and bacteria.
Turning graphene into an antifouling additive
Flashback to March 2020—the global pandemic strikes the planet, forcing many countries into lockdown. With the health crisis as a backdrop, numerous companies and organizations are exploring new avenues for stemming the epidemic and halting the spread of the virus. One solution being researched is graphene.
This nanomaterial is proving to be antifouling. Carbon Waters answered a call for expressions of interest from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France in May 2020.
Their goal was to work on various formulations to substantially reduce viral or bacterial contamination. “After a first, relatively complex development phase, our results are quite promising. Showing a clear decrease in the spread of bacteria on treated films,” notes Alban Chesneau, CEO of Carbon Waters. “Now the challenge is to formulate an additive for acrylic paints, used mainly in decorative painting and building and construction,” he adds.
The goal of the formulation is to meet two challenges:
- Limit the spread of viruses for health reasons.
- Enhance the preservation qualities and shelf life of paints.
Graphene-Based Antifouling Paints
“We already have antifouling agents in paints, but their formulations remain toxic and these products are on a watch list. So using our graphene dispersions will greatly reduce the effects on humans and on nature. That way we can manufacture paints that are more respectful of human health,” underscores Alban Chesneau.
The company is six to twelve months away from being able to test the paints under real-life conditions. “Initially, we plan to position ourselves in the building, light industry, and public transport sectors, where large numbers of people are in contact with each other. Currently, we are working with industrialists and people involved in chemistry. We are also leveraging the expertise of regional firms specialized in microbiology,” he explains.
As for scheduling, by 2022 they will start qualification of the high-performance additive for preserving paint with several industrialists who have already shown interest.