TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – Chemists at Florida State University have received a $510,000 grant from the U.S. Navy to develop a polymer that will help protect boats from marine pollution.

Marine fouling occurs when things like algae and barnacles attach to the bottom of ships, and it can be very costly to the shipping industry, slowing boats down and causing them to use more fuel in the process.

Professor Joe Schlenoff’s team is working to create an antifouling material that is more environmentally friendly.

“The film we put on is what we call ultrathin, so you need the thinnest coating possible, and the theory is if you want to cover an entire Navy destroyer, you’ll need as much polymer as you can fit in an espresso cup,” Schlenoff said. .

The grant will allow a group of chemists to better understand how the material works, as well as gain access to facilities around the world.

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