Biodeterioration of materials can take the form of biocorrosion or biofouling. Corrosion of metals is believed to be an electrochemical process, which results in oxidation of a metal to its oxide and hydroxide thereby distorting the structural integrity of the metal. Although the electrochemical nature of corrosion remains valid, microorganisms influence metal corrosion by modifying the metal solution interface through biofilm formation, hence there is microbially influenced/ induced corrosion (MIC). Biological activities that stimulate the anodic reaction by acidic metabolites or the cathodic reactions by microbial production of cathodic reactants such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S), the breakdown of protective films or the increase in conductivity of the liquid environment enhance corrosion.
Corrosion is a leading cause of pipeline failure and is a main component of the operating and maintenance cost of gas industry pipelines. Out of this, microbial induced corrosion (MIC) accounted for about 2 billion dollars. It has been estimated that 40% of all internal pipeline corrosion in the gas industry can be attributed to microbial corrosion.
Last date updated on June, 2014