458. Anti-Fouling Properties of Phosphonium Ionic Liquid Coatings in the Marine Environment

Sajith Kaniyadan Baiju, Brent James Martin, Rayleen Fredericks, Harikrishnan Raghavan, Karnika De Silva, Matthew Greig Cowan, MDPI (2023), DOI: 10.3390/polym15183677

Biofouling is the buildup of marine organisms on a submerged material. This research tests the efficacy of phosphonium ion gels comprising phosphonium monomers ([P444VB][AOT] and [P888VB][AOT]) and free ionic liquid ([P4448][AOT], [P88814][AOT]) (10 to 50 wt%), varying copper(II) oxide biocide concentrations (0 to 2 wt%), and the docusate anion [AOT]􀀀 for added hydrophobicity. The efficacy of these formulations was tested using a seachest simulator protected from light and tidal currents in New Zealand coastal waters over the summer and autumn periods. Anti-fouling performance was correlated with the hydrophobicity of the surface (water contact angle: 14–131o) and biocide concentration. Formulations with higher hydrophobicity (i.e., less free ionic liquid and longeralkyl chain substituents) displayed superior anti-fouling performance. The presence of the copper(II) biocide negatively affected anti-fouling performance via significant increases to hydrophilicity. No correlation was observed between antimicrobial activity and anti-fouling performance. Overall, phosphonium ion gels show potential for combining anti-fouling and foul release properties.