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Microbial effects on passivation and corrosion of copper alloys

pubblicazioni - Poster

Microbial effects on passivation and corrosion of copper alloys

Cooling circuits in energy production plants suffer of biofouling and biocorrosion.Copper alloy substrates, notably in condensers of marine power plants are exposed to severe corrosion. The current treatments to prevent corrosion and biofilm are ferrous iron circulation + ball mechanical friction and chlorination (Cl ≤ 0.2 mg/l-environmental reasons). Corrosion of copper alloys is prevented through the passivation layers on the surfaces exposed to the waters. Chlorine treatment might lead to 2 different processes: the inhibition of bacteria growth, with the subsequent eradication of biofilm, and the enhancement of metal passivation. The objective of the individual research project IP7 of BIOCOR ITN is to clarify the effect of biofilm and chlorination on the oxide layers developed on copper alloys in cooling circuits circulating seawater. Under the supervision of ERSE, it will be studied and monitored the passivation of metal surfaces under the influence of the biofilm, chlorination and other parameters, in the real conditions of an Italian power plant. The results will be used to define industrial procedures able to guarantee passivation of the alloys in energy facilities, not only in seawater-cooling circuits, from the beginning of the operation and during the whole life of the equipments.

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