Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology
ISSN (Print): 2373-6747 ISSN (Online): 2373-6712 Website: Editor-in-chief: Sankar Narayan Sinha
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology. 2014, 2(5), 253-256
DOI: 10.12691/jaem-2-5-9
Open AccessArticle

Effect of Tetrakis (Hydroxymethyl) Phosphonium Sulphate Biocide on Metal Loss in Mild Steel Coupons Buried in a Water-logged Soil

Kingsley O. Oparaodu1, and Gideon C. Okpokwasili1

1Department of Microbiology, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Pub. Date: September 10, 2014

Cite this paper:
Kingsley O. Oparaodu and Gideon C. Okpokwasili. Effect of Tetrakis (Hydroxymethyl) Phosphonium Sulphate Biocide on Metal Loss in Mild Steel Coupons Buried in a Water-logged Soil. Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology. 2014; 2(5):253-256. doi: 10.12691/jaem-2-5-9


Mild steel strip coupons were buried in water-logged clay soil sitesin the Niger Delta for 190 days, with one site untreated and the other site treated with a tetrakis (hydroxymethyl) phosphoniumsulphate (THPS)-based biocide. Post-exposure analysis of the coupons showed that there was an increasing trend in metal loss in the coupons as the exposure days increased, for both the untreated and treated soil sites. The trend of metal loss showed an average cumulative increase of 46.7% in the untreated soil site and 34.3% in the treated soil site. Average percentage weight loss (APWL) after the 40, 100 and 190-day observational periods, were 2.3%, 5.5% and 8.5% respectively, in the untreated soil; and 1.2%, 2.0% and 2.8% respectively, in the treated soil. Over the period, there was a cumulative 5.4% metal loss in the coupons from the untreated soil and 2.0% in the treated soil. With biocide treatment of the soil, there was a 59.5% decrease in cumulative APWL, comparing the untreated soil and the treated soil sites during each of the observational periods. Total bacterial counts determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) showed a 5-log, 2-log and 1-log reduction in total bacterial counts after 40, 100 and 190 days, respectively, representing between 94-100% reduction in the bacterial numbersin the soil treated with 250 ppm of the biocide.

THPS biocide mild steel water-logged APWL Niger Delta

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Trabanelli, G., Zucchi, F. and Arpaia, M.,“Methods of determination of soil corrosiveness with respect to metallic structures”, ChimicaPuraApplicata, 3: 43-59. 1972.
[2]  Ferreira, C.A., Ponciano, J.A., Vaitsman, D.S. and Pérez, D.V.,“Evaluation of the corrosivity of the soil through its chemical composition”, Sci.Total.Environ., 388:250-255. 2007.
[3]  Córdoba, V.C., Mejía, M.A., Echeverría, F., Morales, M. and Calderón, J.A.,“Corrosion mitigation of buried structures by soils modification”, IngeniareRevistaChilena de Ingeniería, 19: 486-497. 2011.
[4]  Tylecote, R.F., “The effect of soil conditions on the long-term corrosion of buried tin-bronzes and copper”, J.Archaeol. Sci. 6: 345-368. 1979.
[5]  Corrosionpedia, “Soil Corrosion”, Available:, [Accessed Jun. 29, 2014].
[6]  Beech, I.B. and Sunner, J., “Biocorrosion: towards understanding interactions between biofilms and metals”,Curr.Opin.Biotechnol., 15: 181-186. 2004.
[7]  Edstrom Industries. “Biofilm: The Key to Understanding and Controlling Bacterial Growth in Automated Animal Drinking Water Systems”, [Accessed May 28, 2014].
[8]  Little, B., Wagner, P. and Mansfeld, F.,“Microbiologically influenced corrosion of metals and alloys”, Int. Mater. Rev., 36: 253-272. 1991.
[9]  Beech, I.B. and Coutinho, C.L.M.,“Biofilms on corroding materials”. In: Biofilms in Medicine, Industry and Environmental Biotechnology — Characteristics, Analysis and Control, Edited by Lens, P., Moran, A.P., Mahony, T., Stoodly, P., and O’Flaherty, V., IWA Publishing of Alliance House, 115-131. 2003.
[10]  Videla, H.A.,“Metal dissolution/redox in biofilms”, In: Characklis, W.G. and Wilderer, P.A., (ed),Structure and function of biofilms, John Wiley, Chichester, 301-320. 1989.
[11]  Videla, H.A.,“Prevention and control of biocorrosion”,Intl J.Biodeterio.Biodeg. 49: 259-270. 2002.
[12]  Muyzer, G., de Waal, E.C., Uitterlinden, A.G., “Profiling of Complex Microbial Populations by Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis Analysis of Polymerase Chain Reaction-Amplified Genes Coding for 16S rRNA”,Appl Environ Microbiol, 59: 695-700. 1993.
[13]  Bano, A. S. and Qazi, J. I., “Soil buried mild steel corrosion by Bacilluscereus-SNB4 and its inhibition by Bacillus thuringiensis-SN-8”, Pakistan J. Zool., 43: 555-562. 2011.
[14]  LeChevallier, M.W., Cawthon, C.D. and Lee, R.G., “Inactivation of biofilm bacteria”,Appl Environ Microbiol 54: 2492-2499. 1988.
[15]  Rubbo, S.D., Gardner, J.F. and Webb, R.L., “Biocidal activities of Gluteraldehyde and Related Compounds”, J ApplBacteriol 30: 78-87. 1967.
[16]  Brill, F., Goroncy-Bermes, P. and Sanda,W., “Influence of growth media on the sensitivity of Staphylococcusaureus and Pseudomonasaeruginosa to cationic biocides”, Int JHygEnvir Heal 209: 89-95.
[17]  Koenig,D.W., Mishra, S.K. and Pierson, D.L.,“Removal of Burkholderiacepacia biofilms with oxidants”,Biofouling9: 51-62. 1995.