Copper has been used for several centuries for it's antifouling properties. It is a natural occurring substance and an essential element for most plants and animals.
Copper's special properties for general biofouling prevention with limited environmental impact has made it the 1st choice for antifouling products. The most commonly used form of copper salts is cuprous oxide. (Cu2O). This is produced from recycled copper pipes, wires, refrigerators etc. Cuprous oxide works as an antifoulant against both algae and animal fouling. The effect is long lasting, as long as the paint system is leaching copper ions at sufficient amounts to prevent the fouling species. Some products are also boosted with copper thiocyanate. (CuSCN), this is a copper salt added to paint in order to speed up the initial protection. In sediments under fish farms almost all the copper will be rapidly converted to harmless, bio-unavailable compounds.
Product selection and relative protection
* Relative biocidal effect calculations are based on the active ingredients expected protection time. Actual performance is influenced by local conditions, seasonal variations and biofouling fauna.
Copper biofouling protection after 100 days in a fish farm vs untreated nets.