Cuprous thiocyanate is a compound that has been used in ship bottom antifouling coatings. Antifouling coatings are applied to the underwater hull of ships to prevent the growth of marine organisms such as algae, barnacles, and mollusks, which can increase drag and fuel consumption, as well as cause damage to the hull.
Cuprous thiocyanate, with the chemical formula CuSCN, contains copper as the active ingredient. Copper compounds have long been used in antifouling coatings due to their ability to inhibit the growth of marine organisms. Cuprous thiocyanate releases copper ions into the surrounding water, which are toxic to many types of marine organisms.
When applied as an antifouling coating, cuprous thiocyanate forms a protective barrier on the ship’s hull. As the ship moves through the water, a controlled amount of copper ions is released from the coating, effectively preventing the attachment and growth of marine organisms. This helps to keep the ship’s hull clean and maintain its performance.
It’s important to note that the use of cuprous thiocyanate and other copper-based compounds in antifouling coatings has raised environmental concerns due to the potential toxicity of copper to marine ecosystems. Copper can accumulate in sediments and have adverse effects on various marine organisms. Therefore, the use of cuprous thiocyanate and other copper-based antifouling coatings is regulated in many countries to minimize environmental impact.