P.I.: Assoc. Prof. Guangyi Wang, Department of Oceanography
Biocorrosion and Biofouling of Aluminum Alloys using molecular methods to identify the composition of fouling communities.
Presently: Marine installations are vulnerable to biocorrosion which is a serious problem for power generation facilities and the offshore oil and gas industry. Biocorrosion occurs when complex microbial consortia interact with metallic surfaces through the establishment of multispecies biofilms. Biofilms mediate interactions between metal surfaces and the liquid environment, leading to major modifications of the metal-solution interface by drastically changing the types and concentrations of ions, pH, and oxygen levels. The mechanism of biocorrosion is complex and insufficiently understood. While application of biocides and surfactants has been successful in mitigating biocorrosion these effects are generally temporary and may not be acceptable for use in sensitive marine
Project: Biocorrosion of sample coupons was explored using molecular methods to identify the composition of fouling communities. Innovative marine coatings, containing natural compounds extracted from algae and sponges and conductive polymers, were tested in the laboratory to determine if they are effective in providing protection from biocorrosion to ferrous and non-ferrous metals. A progress report is available (Biofouling and Biocorrosion _ Progress Report). Work was discontinued due to NEPA Compliance requirements and information was incorporated into ongoing work by Makai Ocean Engineering at the OTEC Test Site. The latest progress report from the ongoing Aluminum corrosion experiment is OTEC Heat Exchanger Project_Aluminum Corrosion