The purpose of this paper is to study the metal-Microbe interaction playing a crucial role in microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) and biofouling of materials in cooling water systems. Treatment regimens should be planned based on this understanding.
Attempts were made in the past decades to characterize and understand biofilm formation on important power plant structural materials such as carbon steel (CS), stainless steel (SS) and titanium in fresh water and in seawater to achieve better control of biofouling and minimize MIC problems.
This report presents the results of detailed studies on tuberculation-formed CS because of the action of iron-oxidizing bacteria and the effects of algae- and bacteria-dominated biofilms on the passivity of SS. The preferential adhesion of different bacterial species on SS under the influence of inclusions and sensitization was studied in the context of preferential corrosion of SS weldments due to microbial action. Detailed characterization of biofilms formed on titanium (the likely condenser material for fast breeder reactors) after exposure for two years in Kalpakkam coastal waters revealed intense biofouling and biomineralization of manganese even in chlorinated seawater. Studies on the effectiveness of conventional fouling control strategies were also evaluated.
The detailed studies of different metal/biofilm/microbe interactions demonstrated the physiological diversity of microbes in the biofilms that were formed on different materials, coupling their cooperative metabolic activities with consequent corrosion behaviour. These interactions could enhance either anodic or cathodic reactions and exploit metallurgical features that enhance biofilm formation and/or the capacity of microbes to mutate and overcome mitigation measures.
George, R., Kamachi Mudali, U. and Raj, B. (2016), "Characterizing biofilms for biofouling and microbial corrosion control in cooling water systems", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 63 No. 6, pp. 477-489. https://doi.org/10.1108/ACMM-07-2014-1401Download as .RIS
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