Microbiologically influenced corrosion: looking to the future


  • Héctor A. Videla Institute for Theoretical, Applied Physicochemical Research (INIFTA), National Technological University, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liz K. Herrera School of Engineering, University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia


biocorrosion, bioelectrochemistry, biofilms, corrosion inhibition, biocides, sulfate-reducing bacteria


This review discusses the state-of-the-art of research into biocorrosion and the biofouling of metals and alloys of industrial usage. The key concepts needed to understand the main effects of microorganisms on metal decay, and current trends in monitoring and control strategies to mitigate the deleterious effects of biocorrosion and biofouling are also described. Several relevant cases of biocorrosion studied by our research group are provided as examples: (i) biocorrosion of aluminum and its alloys by fungal contaminants of jet fuels; (ii) sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB)- induced corrosion of steel; (iii) biocorrosion and biofouling interactions in the marine environment; (iv) monitoring strategies for assessing biocorrosion in industrial water systems; (v) microbial inhibition of corrosion; (vi) use and limitations of electrochemical techniques for evaluating biocorrosion effects. Future prospects in the field are described with respect to the potential of innovative techniques in microscopy (environmental scanning electron microscopy, confocal scanning laser microscopy, atomic force microscopy), new spectroscopic techniques for the study of corrosion products and biofilms (energy dispersion X-ray analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron microprobe analysis) and electrochemistry (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, electrochemical noise analysis). [Int Microbiol 2005; 8(3):169-180]






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