Investigations of anaerobic corrosion of iron over the past years have led to a number of conclusions regarding the mechanisms. In addition several unusual observations related to these corrosion studies were noted. The cathodic depolarization mechanism does not appear to be significant. The primary cause appears to be the production of a volatile phosphorus compound by sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) which reacts with iron to form a black precipitate in the medium. The highly reactive phosphorus compound is produced from an organic compound, inositol hexaphosphate, the major source of phosphorus in plants. Other findings include electrochemical noise, hollow whiskers, and rusticles, FeS and Fe3 in tektites and a most unusual attack on glass.
International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation Symposium