Rust is an expensive problem

October 13th, 2020

Scanning electron microscope images of a carbon steel surface.

SEM images of the carbon steel surface after corrosion experiments without and with cathodic polarization at −0.5 V.

Did you know that underwater microbes can be major enablers of corrosion? It is called microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) and has been recognized as a problem for more than a century. It causes damage on undersea infrastructure, like pipelines, resulting in expensive repairs.

Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) are recognized as a primary cause of MIC.

Environomics FSP postdoc Xiao Deng, who is currently researching cultivation methods of SRB’s has demonstrated an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to reduce these impacts – using electricity!

You can read the paper; Mechanism of Anaerobic Microbial Corrosion Suppression by Mild Negative Cathodic Polarization on Carbon Steel, recently published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters.