SRB – Sulfur Reducing Bacteria

In some sea water, one can find a lot of sulfur or sulfate reducing organism.  These are one of the worlds oldest organism dating back more then 3 billion years. They can be found in high concentration in the deep sea, at so called black smokers. Please see the picture below. Here black hot water emerges from the ground, heated by volcanic sources. As there is a lot of sulfur in the  water, the microorganism find enough food. Living under such condition as close to a black smoker makes the SRB very resistent to classical water treatment.

Black smoker

Black Smoker. Copyright picture National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organisation.

Sulfur Reducing Bacteria are very common in the oil and gas industry. In the so called produced water, this is very critical. Also in some parts of the world, they are even found in well water.
The SRB are anaerobe bacteria, means they don’t need oxygen, to exist and multiple. They live on sulfur. In technical environment SRB are feared, as they destabilize steel in pipeline or other metallic surface. SRB reduce the sulfur in the steel structure, and producing H2S or SO4. Both makes the steel weaker, brittle and lead to pitting corrosion.
Merus is able to fight MIC microbiological induced corrosion,  and as it looks keep the sulfur reducing bacteria under control.


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