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World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2019 Apr 29;35(5):73. doi: 10.1007/s11274-019-2647-4.

The role of biofilms in the corrosion of steel in marine environments.

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Microbial Corrosion Laboratory, Estácio University (UNESA), Bispo Street, 83, Room, AG405, Rio de Janeiro, ZIP Code 20261-063, Brazil.


Metal corrosion is a major global concern in many economic sectors. The degradation of metal surfaces is responsible for losses in values that account for about 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) only in the US. Parts of all corrosion processes described in different environments are present mainly in marine environments. The marine environment is characterized as favoring the corrosion processes of several metallic alloys, damaging structures used in the construction of ships, ports, oil pipelines, and others. Despite chemical corrosion being the most frequently described in these environments, studies show the participation of microorganisms in direct corrosion processes or in the acceleration/influence of the corrosive action, through the formation of complex biofilms. These structures create favorable conditions for microorganisms to degrade metal surfaces, causing damage known as pitting and crevices. Currently, diverse technicians are employed in biocorrosion research, e.g. electronic microscopy, and DNA sequencing. These techniques have clarified the dynamic process of the formation of biofilm structures, allowing understanding of the succession of different species during the evolution of the structure. Improving the understanding of how this interaction between biofilm and metallic surface occurs will enable better evaluation of strategies to avoid or decelerate the degradation of metallic structures in marine environments.


Biofilm; Marine; Metal corrosion; Metallic alloys; Microbiologically influenced corrosion


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