BG scientists make solid case for marine herbicide

In its liquid form, Roundup herbicide is known as a ruthlessly efficient weed-killer. Now, a team based at the University's Center for Photochemical Sciences has made a version of Roundup's active ingredient that, when exposed to light, hardens into an acrylic polymer—a solid that might prove useful as a herbicidal paint or some other growth-inhibiting coating.

Dr. Douglas Neckers, McMaster Distinguished Research Professor and executive director of the BGSU center, says that such polymerizable herbicides could be made into antifouling paint for boats, to keep algae from growing.

Aneta Bogdanova, research and development director for Performance Coatings International in West Caldwell, N.J., is lead author of a paper describing the team's work in the current issue of the journal Biomacromolecules. The New York Times has also reported on the research, for which BGSU is seeking a patent.

“The value of the work is still to be determined,” says Neckers. He adds, however, “There will be plenty of interest in it from a variety of quarters.”

April 30, 2007