Accelerated biocorrosion of stainless steel in marine water via extracellular electron transfer encoding gene phzH of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Publication Name

Water Research


Microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) constantly occurs in water/wastewater systems, especially in marine water. MIC contributes to billions of dollars in damage to marine industry each year, yet the physiological mechanisms behind this process remain poorly understood. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a representative marine electro-active bacterium, which has been confirmed to cause severe MIC on carbon steel through extracellular electron transfer (EET). However, little is known about how P. aeruginosa causes corrosion on stainless steel. In this study, the corrosivity of wild-type strain, phzH knockout, phzH complemented, and phzH overexpression P. aeruginosa mutants were evaluated to explore the underlying MIC mechanism. We found the accelerated MIC on 2205 duplex stainless steel (DSS) was due to the secretion of phenazine-1-carboxamide (PCN), which was regulated by the phzH gene. Surface analysis, Mott-Schottky test and H2O2 measurement results showed that PCN damaged the passive film by forming H2O2 to oxidize chromium oxide to soluble hexavalent chromium, leading to more severe pitting corrosion. The normalized corrosion rate per cell followed the same order as the general corrosion rate obtained under each experimental condition, eliminating the influence of the total amount of sessile cells on corrosion. These findings provide new insight and are meaningful for the investigation of MIC mechanisms on stainless steel. The understanding of MIC can improve the sustainability and resilience of infrastructure, leading to huge environmental and economic benefits.



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Funding Sponsor

National Natural Science Foundation of China



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