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Role and Control of Organic Matters -Microbial Corrosion in Geothermal Plants

The project aimed to evaluate and rank the three factors - organic matter, bacteria, and the mineral content of geothermal fluids - which are known to be responsible for causing corrosion in geothermal wells. This would allow scientists to predict the risk of microbial corrosion in geothermal plants as a function of other variables, and therefore propose effective preventative or curative solutions to the problem.

A large number of geothermal wells and plants across Europe suffer from corrosion. This can have a detrimental effect on the efficiency and therefore the profitability of the plant. Previous experimental work has demonstrated the role of organic matter contained in geothermal water as a limiting factor for microbial corrosion of metals in geothermal environments. Organic matter serves as nutrient material for the microorganisms, particularly for corrosion-causing bacteria (sulphate-reducing bacteria) and common bacteria which form cell attachments (biofilms) on immersed surfaces.

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