A study on the potential of metal corrosion by sulfate-reducing bacteria in animal buildings

J. Zhu, G. L. Riskowski, Roderick Ian Mackie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) to cause metal corrosion in animal buildings was examined in this study. An analysis was done on the bacterial colonization and the corrosion products on the surfaces of metals exposed to three animal buildings and one environmentally controlled building over a two-year period. Data from this study showed that the levels of SRB on metal surfaces were low after two-year's exposure (maximum count: 1.7 X 104/cm2). SRB colonization levels after two years were not sufficient to corrode metal products exposed in animal environments. In addition, metal surface analysis data using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed that the corrosion compounds formed on the surfaces of different metals were not due to the SRB-induced corrosion mechanisms. These compounds were mainly oxides and carbonates (FeO, Fe2O3, Fe3O4, and Fe(CO)5 on iron samples; ZnO and ZnCO3 on galvanized steel samples; Al2O3, ZnO, and ZnCO3 on Galvalume samples), and were normally generated due to the classic types of corrosion mechanisms. Some sulfur was present to form ZnS on the galvanized steel samples, but might not be attributed to SRB. The origin of this sulfur was not clear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-782
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


  • Animal housing
  • Bacteria
  • Corrosion
  • Metal
  • Sulfate reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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