The EcoTech E-Team from Lehigh, winner of two previous E-Team grants, used this grant to develop an advanced surface coating that prevents the growth of algae, mold, and other biological organisms on a wide variety of surfaces, from aquarium glass to home siding. Called BioShield™, the patented technology uses sunlight and water to react with organic matter, making it difficult for organisms to attach to surfaces. While BioShield™ is ready for commercialization in the aquarium market, the team is conducting further R&D to bring it to other markets, specifically animal husbandry (preventing algae growth on cattle troughs) and residential homes (decks, patios, roofing, etc.). Ultimately, the team hopes to create a transparent “spray-on” coating sold through home improvement stores like Home Depot.
Update: The EcoTech team has gone on to form a successful aquarium products company. Visit their website here.
EcoTech's products are now sold in 450 stores and 35 distributors across the US. The company has developed two more propeller pumps and an LED light for reef aquariums. EcoTech generated $15M in revenue in 2011, has 42 full time staff and a 4,000 square foot work space.