WORLD OCEANS DAY Land-locked Midlands company is saving the world’s oceans, one ship at a time

UK green technology company Sonihull, is showing the world how to save the oceans, despite being located about 100 miles from the sea. For over a decade, the company has been developing systems that harness the power of ultrasound to prevent seaweed and barnacles growing on ships.

The business of antifouling (the process of keeping unwanted marine growth off manmade structures in water) is estimated to cost the shipping industry between £60-£80 billion annually. In some applications, Sonihull has proved that their system can save up to 90% of lifetime costs, and all without harming the environment.

Based in Coventry, Sonihull has developed an industry-leading ultrasound technology that safely prevents marine algae, weeds and molluscs from colonising ocean-going vessels and structures like ships, oil rigs and wind farms.

The technology removes the need for poisonous chemicals and microplastics in antifouling coatings and can reduce maintenance costs by up to 90%. The company is transforming the way that marine applications are approaching antifouling. When fouling builds up on a ship’s hull – it can increase drag and fuel costs by up to 60%. When it builds up in raw-water cooling-systems – it can destroy the main engine and put a ship out of commission.

Sonihull has harnessed the power of ultrasound and its systems are already saving up to 90% of capital and MRO costs in offshore box cooler installations, compared to Impressed Current Anti-fouling (ICAF) systems.

Currently, 95% of all antifouling systems rely on the release of toxins into the environment – this is not environmentally sustainable. The clock is ticking because the IMO (International Maritime Organisation, the world’s maritime regulatory body) is legislating towards ‘zero harm’ solutions.

Sonihull’s ultrasonic technology uses zero biocides; zero poisons are leached into the oceans; zero microplastics are shed from ablative coatings; Sonihull has zero impact on other marine life.

How it works

The Sonihull ultrasonic antifouling system creates microscopic ultrasound-induced cavitation on the surface of the vessels. This disrupts the first stages of the food chain, without damaging the surface being protected. The action prevents the build-up of algae, slime and bigger more complex organisms on surfaces where biofouling is not wanted. The system is silent and the movement of water on the protected surface also prevents the adhesion of juvenile barnacles and mussels.

Protect your vessel

Sonihull’s mission is to deliver environmentally safe, cost effective antifouling wherever unwanted bio-fouling persists. Our vision is:

To make dosing the oceans with poisonous biocides and microplastics a thing of the past
To deliver effective antifouling systems using the power of ultrasound
To save the oceans, one ship at a time