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FSU chemists receive grant from the U.S. Navy

Posted at 7:09 PM, Mar 30, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Chemists at Florida State University received a $510,000 grant from the U.S. Navy to create a polymer that will help protect boats from marine fouling.

Marine fouling is when things like algae and barnacles attach to the bottom of ships, and it can be very costly for the shipping industry by slowing down boats and making them use more fuel in the process.

Professor Joe Schlenoff's team is working to create an anti-fouling material that is more environmentally friendly.

"The film that we put on is what we call ultra thin, so you just need the thinnest coating and the theory if you wanted to coat an entire navy destroyer you would need the amount of polymer to fit into an espresso cup," said Schlenoff.

The grant will allow the team of chemists to better understand how the material works, they'll also be able to access facilities across the world.