Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Effectiveness of Sodium Benzoate as a Freshwater Low Toxicity Antifoulant When Dispersed in Solution and Entrapped in Silicone Coatings

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2005


The traditional solution for preventing organisms from attaching to submerged surfaces is to apply antifouling coatings or biocides. Based on the varied defence mechanisms exhibited by biofilms, the antifoulant needs to prevent bacterial attachment during the early stages of biofilm formation. The potential of benzoic acid and sodium benzoate (NaB) as antifoulants for deterring freshwater bacterial attachment was evaluated with the antifoulants dispersed in solution or entrapped in silicone coatings. Effectiveness was based on the decrease in microbial attachment, limited toxicity, and minimum alteration of the properties of the coatings. The optimal NaB concentration when dispersed in solution, 700 mg l-1, resulted in a biofilm surface coverage of only 3.34% after four weeks. The model silicone, Sylgard 184, demonstrated a better overall performance than the commercial coating, RTV11. Sylgard 184 containing sodium benzoate had 41-52% less biofilm in comparison to the control Sylgard 184, whereas both the control and NaB-entrapped RTV11 coatings had significant biofilm coverage.





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