Involvment of Sulfidogenic Bacteria in Iron Corrosion
MARCHAL R. (Institut Français du Pétrole(1))
The involvement of sulfidogenic bacteria in the corrosion of carbon steel is reviewed. After a brief description of some recent cases drawn from the petroleum industry, the physiology of the sulfidogenic bacteria which plays the most important role in the mechanism of anaerobic bacterial corrosion is examined. The involvement of H2S-producing bacteria to the biofilm formation is a prerequisite for biocorrosion. The hypothetical mechanisms described in the literature are reviewed. Regardless of the physicochemical role played by iron sulfides, which have been shown to be non-covering and to have good properties of electric conductivity, the acidification arising from cellular metabolism has been found to be an important parameter, not only in terms of electrochemistry but also in terms of microbial growth. Metabolic acidification probably explains the ferrous ion supply to the microorganism in an environment with a high level of sulfide ions and finally the persistence of the microbial H2S-producing activity.
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