3 Biotech

, 8:55 | Cite as

Control of corrosive bacterial community by bronopol in industrial water system

  • Jayaraman Narenkumar
  • Nachimuthu Ramesh
  • Aruliah Rajasekar
Original Article


Ten aerobic corrosive bacterial strains were isolated from a cooling tower water system (CWS) which were identified based on the biochemical characterization and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Out of them, dominant corrosion-causing bacteria, namely, Bacillus thuringiensis EN2, Terribacillus aidingensis EN3, and Bacillus oleronius EN9, were selected for biocorrosion studies on mild steel 1010 (MS) in a CWS. The biocorrosion behaviour of EN2, EN3, and EN9 strains was studied using immersion test (weight loss method), electrochemical analysis, and surface analysis. To address the corrosion problems, an anti-corrosive study using a biocide, bronopol was also demonstrated. Scanning electron microscopy and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy analyses of the MS coupons with biofilm developed after exposure to CWS confirmed the accumulation of extracellular polymeric substances and revealed that biofilms was formed as microcolonies, which subsequently cause pitting corrosion. In contrast, the biocide system, no pitting type of corrosion, was observed and weight loss was reduced about 32 ± 2 mg over biotic system (286 ± 2 mg). FTIR results confirmed the adsorption of bronopol on the MS metal surface as protective layer (co-ordination of NH2–Fe3+) to prevent the biofilm formation and inhibit the corrosive chemical compounds and thus led to reduction of corrosion rate (10 ± 1 mm/year). Overall, the results from WL, EIS, SEM, XRD, and FTIR concluded that bronopol was identified as effective biocide and corrosion inhibitor which controls the both chemical and biocorrosion of MS in CWS.

Graphical Abstract


Mild steel Biofilm Cooling tower Biocorrosion Bronopol 



This study was funded by University Grants Commission (MRP-MAJOR-MICRO-2013-31825). Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (EEQ/2016/000449 & SB/YS/LS-40/2013) and Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (BT/RLF/Re-entry/17/2012). J. Narenkumar acknowledge the UGC, Government of India for financial support through project scheme (UGC-MRP). Authors also thank Dr. J. Madhavan, Dr. J. Theerthagiri, and Dr. R.A. Senthil, Department of Chemistry, Thiruvalluvar University (TVU) for their help in electrochemical studies and related discussions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest in the publication.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jayaraman Narenkumar
    • 1
  • Nachimuthu Ramesh
    • 2
  • Aruliah Rajasekar
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Molecular Microbiology Research Laboratory, Department of BiotechnologyThiruvalluvar UniversityVelloreIndia
  2. 2.School of Bio Sciences and TechnologyVIT UniversityVelloreIndia

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