Alternatives to tin catalysts in antifouling paint identified

A project concerning substitution of tin-based catalysts in antifouling paint has been successful in developing viable alternatives.

Tin-based paint contains problematic substances that may harm both health and the aquatic environment, but it has proven difficult to develop alternatives to tin-based catalysts in antifouling paint for marine vessels.

In connection with the project Substitution of tin catalyst in antifouling paint applicable alternatives have been identified. In the project the use of self-catalytic silane cross linkers has been investigated, including oxime-based cross linkers.

We evaluated three of these oxime-based cross linkers and found that one of these, 2-pentanone oxime, can be considered as the best alternative as this substance presents less health hazards than the other oxime-based substances. No use restrictions were found for the substance and the substance is not in focus for further investigation or assessment by regulatory bodies, neither in the EU nor in the US. This offers the opportunity to develop long-term antifouling paint solutions that are more environmentally-friendly than tin-based paints.

The project has been carried out in collaboration between the paint manufacturer Hempel, DHI and the Danish Technological Institute. DHI carried out the toxicological evaluations of the tested oxime-based cross linkers. The project was funded by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s development programme MUDP.

For more information, please contact:

Poul Bo Larsen
Tel +45 4516 9478