Biological Corrosion

Definition - What does Biological Corrosion mean?

Biological corrosion refers to the deterioration of metal or non-metal materials caused by the influence of microorganisms residing in water, wastewater or interior piping walls. This type of corrosion is commonly due to the presence of bacteria in the form of biofilm adhering to the inner surfaces of piping systems.

Biological corrosion is also known as microbiological corrosion

Trenchlesspedia explains Biological Corrosion

Biological corrosion occurs mainly because of the formation of hydrogen sulfide gases produced by the metabolic activity of naturally occurring microorganisms living in water and wastewater. Once the sulfide gasses make their way to the surface, they react with air and moisture to form sulfuric acid which is highly aggressive to both metal and non-metal materials.

Biological corrosion can typically be seen in the form of pitting or sulfide stress cracking on the inner walls of piping systems. The most common methods of combatting this type of corrosion include:

  • Regular cleaning and maintenance
  • Using corrosion inhibitors formulated to deter the growth of bacteria (e.g. Benzalkonium chloride)
  • Preventing stagnation by ensuring proper drainage of the system
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