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Bioelectrochemistry. 2014 Jun;97:61-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bioelechem.2013.07.003. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Combined geochemical and electrochemical methodology to quantify corrosion of carbon steel by bacterial activity.

Author information

  • 1CEA, DEN, DTN/SMTM/LMTE, 13108 Saint Paul lez Durance, France; Aix-Marseille Université, Sciences de l'Environnement, 13545 Aix en Provence, France. Electronic address:
  • 2UPR 15 du CNRS, Laboratoire Interfaces et Systèmes Electrochimiques, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, T22, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Cedex 05 Paris France.
  • 3CEA, DEN, DTN/SMTM/LMTE, 13108 Saint Paul lez Durance, France.
  • 4CEA, DEN, DANS/DPC/SCP/LRSI, F91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


The availability of respiratory substrates, such as H2 and Fe(II,III) solid corrosion products within nuclear waste repository, will sustain the activities of hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria (HOB) and iron-reducing bacteria (IRB). This may have a direct effect on the rate of carbon steel corrosion. This study investigates the effects of Shewanella oneidensis (an HOB and IRB model organism) on the corrosion rate by looking at carbon steel dissolution in the presence of H2 as the sole electron donor. Bacterial effect is evaluated by means of geochemical and electrochemical techniques. Both showed that the corrosion rate is enhanced by a factor of 2-3 in the presence of bacteria. The geochemical experiments indicated that the composition and crystallinity of the solid corrosion products (magnetite and vivianite) are modified by bacteria. Moreover, the electrochemical experiments evidenced that the bacterial activity can be stimulated when H2 is generated in a small confinement volume. In this case, a higher corrosion rate and mineralization (vivianite) on the carbon steel surface were observed. The results suggest that the mechanism likely to influence the corrosion rate is the bioreduction of Fe(III) from magnetite coupled to the H2 oxidation.

© 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Biocorrosion; Chronoamperometry; Dihydrogen; Iron-reducing bacteria; Raman microspectroscopy; SEM micrographs

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