Thematic Network Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion of Industrial Materials

  • Hilbert, Lisbeth Rischel (Project Manager)

    Project Details


    The purpose of this network is to bring together scientists and engineers from European industries, research organisations and universities to promote scientific and technological co-operation in order to better understand microbiologically-influenced corrosion (MIC), sometimes termed biocorrosion, phenomena, to assess its’ risk, and to propose effective ways of its’ mitigation. The multidisciplinary character of the project requires promoting effective communication between all the different partners involved in the network. Communication is organised according to three main areas:

    1.Enhancement of the relations between academic teams with different backgrounds (biochemistry, microbiology, electrochemistry, and materials) is necessary to improve the fundamental understanding of microbiologically-induced degradation and/or corrosion.

    2.Exchanges between engineers from different industrial sectors are strongly encouraged. Each of them possesses a particular know-how for MIC prevention in different application domains. Their techniques gain efficiency if they exchange their different experiences.

    3.To create multiple links between academic teams and R&D industrial groups. This provides the academic investigators with new specific MIC cases, on practical applications and at industrial scale. On the other hand, the connection with academic researchers helps the industrial partners to organise their own approach concerning fundamental well-identified topics and to define more efficient strategies against MIC.

    In order to be efficient, this network is planned over four (4) years and the numbers of partners have been limited to 24. The industrial areas have been chosen carefully where significant synergies seemed possible (i.e. medical industry is also affected by MIC processes, but has not been involved in this network). Eleven (11) universities or research organisations, and eleven (11) industries are the present partners. The partnership will be open to two (2) other partners from other EC member states, during the network operation. The network is organised into six (6) tasks. Two tasks are linked to the fundamental research areas of biofilms (Task 1) and Corrosion (Task 2). Three tasks are devoted to specific application projects, such as MIC risk assessment (Task 3), MIC mitigation (Task 4) and biofilm and corrosion monitoring (Task 5). One task is devoted to personnel exchanges (Task 6).

    Task 1 (Biofilms) started to collect and to homogenise methods of assessing MIC. A workshop was devoted to this purpose and personnel exchanges started to transfer knowledge between the different laboratories. Future work will provide answers from questions arising within the other task groups, concentrate on homogenising MIC assessment methods and to increase knowledge of MIC mechanisms, such as investigating the role of enzymes in the MIC process. Task 2 (Corrosion) performed a survey over field and laboratory experiences with different materials. The data collected is currently in the process of analysis to find means of identifying MIC. Furthermore, an analysis of the electrochemical behaviour of material in different systems will be performed. Task 3 (MIC risk assessment) chose “Emergency and cooling water systems” for a risk assessment model. A list of MIC relevant aspects has been drafted and exchanges with the tasks 1, 2, 4 and 5 will help to identify possible parameters for the development of the model. The influences of each identified aspect of MIC on the overall process will be estimated, so that a likelihood of risks table can be developed. Task 4 (MIC-Mitigation) drafted a state-of-the-art summary about methods currently used in industry and their performance and economical aspects. It is planned to develop guidelines for MIC diagnostics (with Task 3 and 5) and guidelines on general system design and materials. Task 5 (Biofilm and corrosion monitoring) provided a state-of-the-art overview of monitoring devices. The different devices and systems will be tested and evaluated to provide an estimation of the economical benefit of the new technologies. Task 6 (Personnel Exchange) is investigating into the possibilities of effective dissemination of the results to persons outside the network, such as the organisation an summer school.
    Effective start/end date01/12/199801/12/2002