Microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) of carbon steel infrastructure is an emerging cost issue for the ethanol fuel industry. One bacterial species found in ethanol fuel environments, Acetobacter aceti, can convert ethanol to the corrosive species acetic acid. This study presents a methodology for varying the numbers of Acetobacter delivered to a carbon steel testing surface over three orders of magnitude during a seven day test. Biofilm coverage increased and pH decreased with higher cell exposure. Resulting corrosion rates, on the other hand, were inversely proportional to cell exposure, indicating that Acetobacter biofilms are able to protect carbon steel surfaces from corrosion. Mitigation techniques for MIC that harness the power of microbial communities have the potential to be scalable, inexpensive, and green solutions to industrial problems.
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance
Microbiologically influenced corrosion, Acetobacter, ethanol, inhibition, carbon steel, biofilms