Accelerated cathodic reaction in microbial corrosion of iron due to direct electron uptake by sulfate-reducing bacteria

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Abstract

Microbially influenced iron corrosion by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is conventionally attributed to the chemical corrosiveness of H2S, facilitated abiotic H+-reduction at deposited FeS, and biological consumption of chemically formed ('cathodic') H2. However, recent studies with corrosive SRB indicated direct consumption of iron-derived electrons rather than of H2 as a crucial mechanism. Here, we conducted potentiodynamic measurements with iron electrodes colonized by corrosive SRB. They significantly stimulated the cathodic reaction, while non-corrosive yet H2-consuming control SRB had no effect. Inactivation of the colonizing bacteria significantly reduced current stimulation, thus confirming biological catalysis rather than an abiotic cathodic effect of FeS. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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Venzlaff, H., Enning, D., Srinivasan, J., Mayrhofer, K. J. J., Hassel, A. W., Widdel, F., & Stratmann, M. (2013). Accelerated cathodic reaction in microbial corrosion of iron due to direct electron uptake by sulfate-reducing bacteria. Corrosion Science, 66, 88–96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.corsci.2012.09.006

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