Boozy bacteria burst bio-pipelines

Acetobacter aceti bacteria that grow on the ethanol in biofuels can produce acidic metabolites that increase the rate of fatigue cracking in steel pipelines. According to researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the heady brew of ethanol and bacteria increases the rate of steel corrosion by some 25 times in tests on common pipeline materials, X52 and X70 steels. In parallel tests, the team found that the biocide glutaraldehyde commonly used in oil and gas operations can slow bacterial growth and so could be used in ethanol transport to avoid pipeline cracks and fuel leaks.