The role of organic acid metabolites in geo-energy pipeline corrosion in a sulfate reducing bacteria environment

Makungu Madirisha*, Robert Hack, Freek van der Meer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


The dominant factors in Microbial Influenced Corrosion (MIC) are hard to determine because normally several individual species and their metabolites are involved, and, moreover, different metabolites may cause opposing effects. To address this problem, the effects of individual metabolites from different species should be elucidated when at the same time other metabolites are held constant. In this study, the role is investigated of simulated organic acid metabolites, namely, acetic and L–ascorbic acids, on corrosion of geo-energy pipelines (carbon steel) in a simulated Sulfate Reducing Bacteria (SRB) environment. The SRB environment is simulated using a calcium alginate biofilm, abiotic sulfide, CO2, and NaCl brine. The electrochemical results show that both simulated organic acid metabolites accelerate corrosion in a simulated SRB environment. The results are further supported by electrochemical weight losses, kinetic corrosion activation parameters, multiple linear regression, ICP-OES, pH, and XRD. However, a comparison of electrochemical results with those published in the literature for a simulated SRB environment without acetic or L-ascorbic acid under similar experimental conditions shows that the presence of acetic in this study results in lower corrosion current densities while in presence of L-ascorbic acid results into higher corrosion current densities. This implies that acetic and L-ascorbic acids inhibit and accelerate corrosion, respectively. In addition, the results highlight that H2S is a key role of corrosion in the presence of organic acid. The results of this study are important new and novel information on the role of acetic and L-ascorbic acids in corrosion of geo-energy pipelines in the SRB environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere09420
Number of pages32
Issue number5
Early online date20 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Organic acid metabolites; corrosion; sulfate reducing bacteria; geo-energy pipeline
  • UT-Gold-D


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