Photo: Viktor Eriksson

SynCap - Encapsulated biocide cocktails for minimal toxicity

Research project

Short description

One source of emissions of toxic chemicals into the environment is biocides leaking from antimicrobial and antifouling products. A particular concern is how toxic chemicals can interact and together cause a greater effect than the single compound. This is usually called synergy. Biocides are particularly interesting as these are designed to be toxic to living organisms.

The project investigates the combinational effects of two (or more) common classes of biocides with a large potential for synergism.


Thomas Backhaus
Åsa Arrhenius

More about our project

The project will apply the results to develop a sustainable antimicrobial fibre or antifouling material. There are two cornerstones to this technology:

  1. Controlled slow release of biocides from microcapsules
  2. Optimised synergistic combinations.

The concept is based on the biocides acting synergistically with the product’s surface, while the synergistic effect disappears as biocides are diluted farther away from the product surface. While the impact on fouling organisms close to the product's surface will be maintained, the impact on non-target organisms in the environment will, therefore, be negligible.