, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 169-174

Corroding iron as a hydrogen source for sulphate reduction in growing cultures of sulphate-reducing bacteria

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In anaerobic corrosion experiments, hydrogenase-positiveDesulfovibrio strains, grown with limiting lactate concentrations in the presence of steel wool, formed more sulphide than expected or observed with lactate alone. The additional sulphide obviously originated from sulphate reduction with cathodically formed hydrogen from the steel surface. The hydrogenasenegativeD. sapovorans did not produce additional sulphide. The observations agree with the theory of von Wolzogen Kühr and van der Vlugt (1934) that explains anaerobic corrosion as a cathodic depolarization of iron surfaces by hydrogen-consuming sulphate-reducing bacteria. The influence of the iron surface area, the salt concentration and the pH-value on the utilization of cathodically formed hydrogen was investigated. The significance of an additional organic electron donor for the corrosion of iron in aqueous environments is discussed.