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Journal of Chinese Society for Corrosion and protection  2021, Vol. 41 Issue (6): 795-803    DOI: 10.11902/1005.4537.2020.230
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Case Analysis of Microbial Corrosion in Product Oil Pipeline
ZHANG Fei1, WANG Haitao2, HE Yongjun3, ZHANG Tiansui1, LIU Hongfang1()
1.Hubei Key Laboratory of Materials Chemistry and Service Failure, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
2.China Special Equipment Inspection and Research Institute, Beijing 100029, China
3.SINOPEC Sales Co. Ltd. , (South China), Guangzhou 510000, China
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The composition and acid-solubility characteristics of corrosion products in several product oil pipelines were investigated, and the content of bacteria related to microbiologically influenced corrosion of metal materials such as sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and iron bacteria (IOB) in corrosion products were cultured and determined by bacterial culture method. The corrosion behavior of X60 pipeline steel in SRB-containing medium was studied by means of electrochemical polarization curve measurement, alternating impedance method, corrosion mass loss method and surface analysis technology. The results show that SRB and IOB exist in most pipeline corrosion products, and the pipeline sediments consist mainly of Fe3O4, FeS, Fe(OH)3, and Fe2O3. The results of corrosion test in a simulated solution containing product oil and SRB bacterial revealed that a large number of loose and porous corrosion products and SRB bacterial aggregation were formed on the surface of X60 steel, while the corrosion degree was more serious than that of the blank control group. Moreover, the corrosion morphology of the steel showed pitting characteristics with pit depth up to 25.1 μm/14 d.

Key words:  internal corrosion of product oil pipeline      sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB)      iron oxidized bacteria (IOB)      X60 carbon steel      microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC)     
Received:  02 December 2020     
ZTFLH:  TG174  
Fund: China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation Project(319008-8)
Corresponding Authors:  LIU Hongfang     E-mail:
About author:  LIU Hongfang; E-mail:

Cite this article: 

ZHANG Fei, WANG Haitao, HE Yongjun, ZHANG Tiansui, LIU Hongfang. Case Analysis of Microbial Corrosion in Product Oil Pipeline. Journal of Chinese Society for Corrosion and protection, 2021, 41(6): 795-803.

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SampleRate of acid insolubleCompositions analysisSRB content mLIOB content mL
Jianshui89%Fe3O4, FeS, Fe2O31.0×1051.0×103
Huanan78%Fe3O4, FeS1.0×1051.0×104
Maoming73.5%Fe3O4, FeS, Fe2O3, FeOOH1.0×1061.0×103
Kunming diesel63.5%Fe(OH)3, Fe2O3, FeOOHUndetected
Kunming gasoline89%Fe3O4
Table 1  Acid solution experiment, XRD composition analysis, microbial culture and bacterial content determination
Fig.1  XRD patterns of corrosion deposits in pipelines
Fig.2  SEM images of X60 steel samples immersed in SRB bacterial solution for 1 d (a), 3 d (b), 8 d (c) and 14 d (d)
Fig.3  Nyquist (a, b) and Bode (c, d) plots of X60 carbon steel in four different test systems: (a) medium, (b) medium contains oil, (c) SRB solution, (d) SRB solution contains oil
Fig.4  Equivalent circuit used to fit experimental impedance diagrams
ConditionRs / Ω·cm2Qf / 10-4 F·cm-2Qf-nRf / Ω·cm2Cdl / 10-2 F·cm-2Cdl-nRct / Ω·cm2Rp / Ω·cm2
Medium1 d8.241.52×10-40.942273482.71×10-40.8411535142699
3 d6.8472.15×10-40.946138873.11×10-30.927356217449
5 d7.0152.42×10-40.97884463.45×10-40.873937317819
8 d6.9153.12×10-40.945176798.59×10-40.943629823977
11 d7.743.49×10-40.949356768.23×10-40.9221179847474
14 d7.634.40×10-40.953472056.29×10-40.9781819365398
Oil-Medium1 d9.5391.74×10-40.943224102.82×10-40.8541483737247
3 d8.3622.12×10-40.94760212.15×10-40.871860014621
5 d8.3363.05×10-40.945112897.57×10-40.875401615305
8 d11.113.68×10-40.950336738.92×10-40.9551017743850
11 d10.724.39×10-40.943302373.94×10-40.9531525245489
14 d11.394.65×10-40.952392244.18×10-40.9381896658190
SRB solution1 d17.744.31×10-40.86684.21.19×10-60.21391449228.2
3 d11.159.44×10-30.811653.96.11×10-30.89135674220.9
5 d11.86.74×10-30.85617803.98×10-30.87271598939
8 d13.313.74×10-30.92479231.95×10-30.896374911672
11 d13.392.46×10-30.926108441.09×10-40.9131756528409
14 d13.732.19×10-30.925186025.14×10-40.9152116039762
Oil-SRB solution1 d18.18.01×10-30.95815027.53×10-50.3031180213304
3 d15.791.68×10-30.93443561.58×10-20.77312685624
5 d12.946.57×10-30.92165237.59×10-50.9751350020023
8 d14.515.25×10-30.92478436.07×10-50.9611479922642
11 d13.435.00×10-30.94933513.87×10-40.9761553018881
14 d13.974.58×10-30.98715769.81×10-40.9331754819124
Table 2  Electrochemical parameters fitted from EIS of X60 carbon steel in four test systems
Fig.5  Time-dependent changes of Rp of X60 carbon steel in different media
Fig.6  Polarization curves for X60 carbon steel in different solutions soaked after 14 d
Conditionβa / V·dec-1βc / V·dec-1Ecorr, SCE / VIcorr / A·cm-2
Medium contains oil18.69-38.11-0.7595.69×10-7
SRB solution177.12-46.142-0.8137.11×10-7
SRB solution contains oil225.24-43.497-0.9502.41×10-6
Table 3  Fitted results of polarization curves of X60 steel in different solutions soaked after 14 d
Fig.7  SEM images showing morphologies of the X60 steel immersed in the corrosion system: (a) medium, (b) medium contains oil, (c) SRB solution, (d) SRB solution contains oil
Fig.8  EDS analysis of corrosion products of X60 carbon steel soaked in two corrosion systems for 14 d: (a) medium, (b) medium contains oil, (c) SRB solution, (d) SRB solution contains oil
Fig.9  3D morphologies of X60 carbon steel after soaking for 14 d to remove corrosion products: (a) medium, (b) medium contains oil, (c) SRB solution, (d) SRB solution contains oil
Fig.10  Mass loss of X60 carbon steel in different solutions soaked after 14 d
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