Carbon steel corrosion induced by sulphate-reducing bacteria in artificial seawater: electrochemical and morphological characterizations


  • Mariana Silva Silva de Paula
  • Márcia Monteiro Machado Gonçalves
  • Monick Alves da Cruz Rola
  • Diana José Maciel
  • Lilian Ferreira de Senna
  • Dalva Cristina Baptista do Lago


In this work, the corrosion behavior of carbon steel AISI 1020 was evaluated in artificial seawater in the presence of mixed sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) culture isolated from the rust of a pipeline. The corrosion evaluation was performed by electrochemical techniques (open circuit potential (Eocp), polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)), while the formation of a biofilm and corrosion products were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The presence of SRB in the medium shifted the open circuit potential to more positive values and increased the corrosion rate of the steel. Electrochemical and morphological techniques confirmed the presence of a biofilm on the steel surface. EDS spectra data showed the presence of sulfur in the corrosion products. After removing the biofilm, localized corrosion was observed on the surface, confirming that localized corrosion had occurred. The biogenic sulfide may lead to the formation of galvanic cells and contributes to cathodic depolarization.


Keywords: sulphate-reducing bacteria, biofilm formation; carbon steel, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, morphological characterization.