Increased Resistance of Nitrite-Admixed Concrete to Microbially Induced Corrosion in Real Sewers



Publication Details

Li, X., Bond, P., O'Moore, L., Wilkie, S., Hanzic, L., Johnson, I., Mueller, K., Yuan, Z. & Jiang, G. (2020). Increased Resistance of Nitrite-Admixed Concrete to Microbially Induced Corrosion in Real Sewers. Environmental Science and Technology, 54 (4), 2323-2333.


© 2020 American Chemical Society. Microbially induced concrete corrosion is a major deterioration process in sewers, causing a huge economic burden, and improved mitigating technologies are required. This study reports a novel and promising effective solution to attenuate the corrosion in sewers using calcium nitrite-admixed concrete. This strategy aims to suppress the development and activity of corrosion-inducing microorganisms with the antimicrobial free nitrous acid, which is generated in situ from calcium nitrite that is added to the concrete. Concrete coupons with calcium nitrite as an admixture were exposed in a sewer manhole, together with control coupons that had no nitrite admixture, for 18 months. The corrosion process was monitored by measuring the surface pH, corrosion product composition, concrete corrosion loss, and the microbial community on the corrosion layer. During the exposure, the corrosion loss of the admixed concrete coupons was 30% lower than that of the control coupons. The sulfide uptake rate of the admixed concrete was also 30% lower, leading to a higher surface pH (0.5-0.6 unit), in comparison to that of the control coupons. A negative correlation between the calcium nitrite admixture in concrete and the abundance of sulfide-oxidizing microorganisms was determined by DNA sequencing. The results obtained in this field study demonstrated that this novel use of calcium nitrite as an admixture in concrete is a promising strategy to mitigate the microbially induced corrosion in sewers.

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