Why is microbial control becoming so important?

Corrosion Essentials – Posted 11/25/2020

Microbial control can protect maritime, water, and energy assets from microbiologically induced corrosion.

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    IMAGE: MIC, or microbial induced corrosion of pilings in the Duluth Superior Harbor in Duluth, Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Gene Clark, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.


    What is Microbiologically Induced Corrosion (MIC)

    Microbiologically influenced corrosion is corrosion caused by the presence and activities of microorganisms in biofilms on the surface of the corroding material – a problem that threatens assets in many industries, including oil and gas, water and wastewater, and maritime.

    And while microalgae, bacteria, and fungi do not produce unique types of corrosion, they can accelerate corrosion reactions or shift corrosion mechanisms.

    MIC can occur as an independent corrosion mechanism or in conjunction with other corrosion mechanisms, which presents challenges to implementing effective corrosion management of systems in which it is a threat. Rarely can suspected MIC be confirmed without evidence from multiple analysis techniques and sciences, making it difficult to confirm as the cause.

    Why is microbial control becoming so important?

    Ken Wunch, energy technology advisor at DuPont Microbial Control, discusses the growing concerns in 2020 related to microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). He addresses such topics as:

    • why microbial corrosion is a critical issue for the energy industry;
    • new concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and lower oil prices; and
    • emerging technologies that could offer microbial control solutions.

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