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Detection of Microbial sulfate-reduction associated with buried stainless steel coupons

Description: The objective of this study was to demonstrate applicability of an innovative radioactive isotope method for imaging microbial activity in geological materials to a comprehensive study of metal corrosion. The method was tested on a sample of stainless steel coupons that had been buried as part of a corrosion study initiated by the National Institute of Standards and Testing or NIST (known as National Bureau of Standards prior to 1988) in 1970. The images showed evidence of microbial activity that could be mapped on a millimeter scale to coupon surfaces. A second more conventional isotope tracer method was also used to provide a quantitative measure of the same type of microbial activity in soil proximal to the buried coupons. Together the techniques offer a method for evaluating low metabolic levels of activity that have the potential for significant cumulative corrosion effects. The methods are powerful tools for evaluation of potential for microbial induced corrosion to buried steel components used on pipelines, in the power and communications infrastructure, and in nuclear waste repository containers.
Date: March 1, 2007
Creator: Delwiche, Mark E.; Flitton, M. Kay Adler & Olson, Alicia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department