Simulating microbiologically influenced corrosion by depositing extracellular biopolymers on mild steel surfaces


Electrochemical properties of corroding mild steel (MS) surfaces were measured in real time using three closely spaced microelectrodes. Dissolved oxygen, pH, and ion currents were mapped simultaneously and noninvasively above a MS coupon partially coated with biopolymer gels. Calcium alginate (Ca-Alg [an extracellular biopolymer containing carboxylate functional groups]) and agarose (one without carboxylate functional groups) were tested. Corrosion occurred at approximately the same rate under the two biopolymer spots on the same coupon. Corrosion rates under these biopolymers were ≈ 4 mpy in a weak saline solution. Results suggested corrosion was not influenced by chemical properties of the biopolymer but possibly was controlled by oxygen reduction in noncoated regions of the coupon (i.e., a differential aeration cell).




Roe, F.L., Z. Lewandowski, and T. Funk, “Simulating Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion by Depositing Extracellular Biopolymers on Mild Steel Surfaces,” Corrosion Science, 52(10):744752 (1996).
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