3 Biotech

, 8:178 | Cite as

Biocorrosion of mild steel and copper used in cooling tower water and its control

  • Xiao Lei Li
  • Jayaraman Narenkumar
  • Aruliah Rajasekar
  • Yen-Peng Ting
Original Article


The present study describes the biocorrosion of mild steel (MS1010) and pure copper (Cu) in cooling water environments (both field and lab study). Electrochemical and surface analyses of both metals were carried out to confirm the corrosion susceptibility in the presence of bacteria and inhibitor. Surface analysis of the MS and Cu coupons revealed that biofilm was developed with increasing exposure time in the field study. In the lab study, accumulation of extracellular polymeric substance over the metal surface was noticed and led to the severe pitting type of corrosion on both metal surfaces. Besides, the anti-corrosive study was carried out using the combinations of commercial corrosion inhibitor (S7653—10 ppm) with biocide (F5100—5 ppm), and the results reveal that the corrosion rate of MS and Cu was highly reduced to 0.0281 and 0.0021 mm/year (inhibitor system) than 0.1589 and 0.0177 mm/year (control system). Inhibition efficiency for both metals in the presence of inhibitor with biocide was found as 82 and 88% for MS and Cu, respectively. The present study concluded that MS was very susceptible to biocorrosion, compared to copper metal in cooling water environment. Further, the combination of the both inhibitor and biocide was effectively inhibiting the biocorrosion which was due to its antibacterial and anti-corrosive properties.


Biocorrosion Cooling tower Copper Mild steel EIS SEM–EDX 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

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

Conflict of interest

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

Supplementary material

13205_2018_1196_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1291 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringNational University of SingaporeKent RidgeSingapore
  2. 2.Environmental Molecular Microbiology Research Laboratory, Department of BiotechnologyThiruvalluvar UniversityVelloreIndia

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