Biofouling is a ubiquitous natural phenomenon that incurs major costs and damages to marine-based industries and infrastructure worldwide. While antibiofouling agents do exist, these contain toxic biocides and metals which are harmful to non-target organisms and the local ecosystem. This research aimed to create a renewably sourced, non-toxic hydrogel with antibiofouling properties in a marine environment. Hydrogels were made using functionalized CMC, a cellulose derivative, crosslinked with dithiol molecules. It was shown that the mechanical properties and swelling abilities of hydrogels could be controlled by making the hydrogels at a particular thiol to norbornene ratio. Hydrogels made with one of the crosslinkers also demonstrated the ability to have a tunable degradation rate in a marine environment. Ultimately, it was shown that hydrogels tested failed to remove settled foulants.
Rondeau, David, "Synthesis and Application of Cellulose-Based Hydrogels for Anti-Biofouling in Marine Environments" (2019). Honors College. 543.