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Damage to offshore production facilities by corrosive microbial biofilms

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Adrien Vigneron, Professor Ian Head, Professor Nicolas Tsesmetzis


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© 2018 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature In offshore production facilities, large amounts of deaerated seawater are continuously injected to maintain pressure in oil reservoirs and equivalent volumes of fluids, composed of an oil/gas, and water mixture are produced. This process, brewing billions of liters of biphasic fluids particularly rich in microorganisms, goes through complex steel pipeline networks that are particularly prone to biofilm formation. Consequently, offshore facilities are frequently victims of severe microbiologically influenced corrosion. Understanding of microbiologically influenced corrosion is constantly growing. In the laboratory, the inventory of potentially corrosive microorganisms is increasing and microbial biochemical and bioelectrical processes are now recognized to be involved in corrosion. However, understanding of corrosive multispecies biofilms and the complex metabolic processes associated with corrosion remains a considerable challenge as simple laboratory biofilms comprising pure or defined mixed cultures poorly represent the complexity of in situ biofilms. Complementary, antagonistic, and parallel microbial pathways occur within the complex microbial and inorganic matrix of the biofilms which can lead to high corrosion rates. This mini-review explores models of microbiologically influenced corrosion and places them in the context of the multispecies biofilms observed in situ. Consequences of mitigation strategies on biofilm corrosiveness and dispersal are also discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vigneron A, Head IM, Tsesmetzis N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Year: 2018

Volume: 102

Issue: 6

Pages: 2525-2533

Print publication date: 01/03/2018

Online publication date: 08/02/2018

Acceptance date: 19/01/2018

ISSN (print): 0175-7598

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0614

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00253-018-8808-9


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