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Title: Development of a functionalized coating for inhibition of marine corrosion and biofouling
Author: Gittens, Jeanette Elizabeth
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2011
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The financial loss incurred by corrosion of metals in the marine environment has led to a need to develop effective, economic and environmentally friendly methods of protection. Traditional methods of counteracting the development of surface biofilms and biofouling within aqueous environments have involved implementing chemical biocides, often with a deleterious effect on non-target organisms. Sol gel coating technology offers a convenient route for immobilizing functional additives, such as inhibitors or, in the case of this study, biologically active microorganisms. Paenibacillus polymyxa biofilms inhibit the corrosion of metal substrates and this strain has the advantage of forming endospores can withstand the solvent and acid concentrations required in sol-gel formulation. Encapsulation of viable P. polymyxa endospores within the sol-gel matrix allowed germination on exposure to nutrients, when germinating endospores and vegetative cells were seen after fluorescence microscopy to be distributed throughout the coating. Laboratory electrochemical impedance tests were used to characterize the corrosion behaviour of the endospore-containing (biotic) sol-gel coating in comparison to an abiotic (no endospores) sol-gel only coating and one containing non-viable (killed) endospores. The technology enabled manipulation of the sol-gel formulation and the method of application to produce biotic sol-gel with enhanced corrosion inhibition properties on aluminium alloy. Field trials in a marine environment confirmed the corrosion protecting properties of the biotic coating and that the biotic coatings inhibited macroscopic biofouling for at least 29 weeks relative to the controls without encapsulated live endospores. Production of polymyxin by the encapsulated bacteria, which was proposed as a mechanism by which they inhibit MIC, was less than 1 mug per ml and below the threshold of detection by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry and antimicrobial bioassay. Microcosm experiments were used to study differences in the corrosion of abiotic and biotic coatings in the presence of a corrosion-causing sulphate-reducing bacterium. Scanning electrochemical microscopy was developed as a technique to study electrochemical processes on the coating surface and showed differences in the distribution of copper ions on the surface of abiotic and biotic coatings. The results of the experimental work in this thesis show the potential of encapsulating metabolically active bacterial cells within a sol-gel coating on metals for the control of marine corrosion and biofouling.
Supervisor: Smith, Thomas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available