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Article RSE 16080615

Innovative methods to study and prevent microbial corrosion

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La metallurgia Italiana ISSN 0026-0843, vol. 108, pp. 127-136, Dicembre-2016.

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P. Cristiani (RSE SpA)

CONVENERGIA 2016 - Small size plants for energy conversion

It is a review of innovative methods to study and prevent microbial corrosion.

The significant contribution of microbial corrosion to material degradation in industrial environments has been widely investigated, especially in recent years. However, the process remains largely underestimated and, more than ever today, its control is proved to be difficult. Indeed, some recent environmental issues andregulatory led to the reduction of the biocides and anticorrosive treatments, often without an appropriaterevision of procedures and without a careful monitoring, thus affecting the effectiveness of the treatments.

A multitude of bacterial species lives within the "corrosive" biofilm, where organisms interacts in synergistically or competitive way adapting themselves to external agents, even in extreme conditions.Combining modern electrochemical techniques and molecular biology it is possible today to monitor thebiocorrosion risk and to highlight the complexity of the phenomenon.

The relevant involvement of specificbacterial strains, including the sulphate reducers and other bacteria of the sulfur cycle, as well as the role ofenzymes of the oxidative metabolism has been confirmed by these techniques. These enzymes can beexpressed by a vast number of microorganisms, both aerobic and anaerobic, as function of environmentalconditions.

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