Inspectioneering Journal

Understanding Microbial Corrosion – Part 2: Microbial Corrosion Mitigation

By Bill Schaal, Senior Project Manager at Weston Solutions, and Peter Martus, PhD, Environmental Services Team Manager at AECOM. This article appears in the January/February 2023 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
This article is part 2 of a 2-part series.
Part 1 | Part 2


This article is the second and final part of a series on microbial-induced corrosion (MIC). In part one, we reviewed the significant impacts of MIC on the oil and gas and chemical industries, how MIC occurs, and methods for identifying MIC damage and biofouling. This second part of the series will summarize the importance of microbe mitigation to minimize MIC and its associated potential for production losses and expensive repairs. We present two case histories that entail a three-step plan for mitigation, which involves keeping systems clean, using biocides and protective measures, and maintaining systems completely drained and dry or completely fluid-filled.

Microbe Mitigation

Microbe mitigation in conveyance, process, and storage systems is essential to minimize MIC and potential production losses and expensive repairs. Experienced inspectors, operators, engineers, and designers know that microbe mitigation requires persistent and consistent treatment. Adherence to a fundamental three-step plan is beneficial to operators and engineers for mitigating MIC and related deleterious effects [1]. This plan, with minor modifications practiced by the authors, is summarized immediately below.

  1. Keep it clean.
  2. Employ biocides and/or protective measures such as coating and/or cathodic protection (CP).
  3. Maintain systems completely drained and dry or completely fluid-filled.

Selected case histories are summarized below and are based on the professional experience of the article’s authors. These case histories include MIC problem resolution methods that may be employed in many varied applications.

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Posted by Hamish Gray on April 24, 2023
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