Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Determination of Optimal Water Solubility of Capsaicin for Its Usage as a Non-toxic Antifoulant

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Publication Date

Fall 2004


Background Capsaicin, a non-toxic natural product antifoulant, is an attractive alternative to the currently used toxic metal-based antifoulants for protecting the submerged surfaces. The problem associated with conducting capsaicin experiments is its limited aqueous solubility. Methods A procedure was developed to obtain the maximum capsaicin concentration in water. Capsaicin was first dissolved in one of the three organic solvents, methanol, ethanol, and acetone. The organic solvent was replaced by gradually adding distilled water and evaporating the organic solvent. Results The best solvent for obtaining highest concentration of capsaicin in water was ethanol. A maximum capsaicin in water 6400 ppm was achieved by using 16 mg capsaicin dissolved in 0.8 ml ethanol followed with the addition of 2.5 ml distilled water in 0.2 ml increments and then slow evaporation of the solvent. Conclusion The concentration obtained using our approach is well above the threshold concentration of capsaicin in deterring the marine organism attachments.





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