Pitting corrosion inhibition of aluminum 2024 by Bacillus biofilms secreting polyaspartate or γ-polyglutamate

D. Örnek, A. Jayaraman, B. Syrett, C. H. Hsu, F. Mansfeld, T. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Pitting corrosion of aluminum 2024 in Luria Bertani medium was reduced by the secretion of anionic peptides by engineered and natural Bacillus biofilms and was studied in continuous reactors using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Compared to sterile controls, pitting was reduced dramatically by the presence of the biofilms. The secretion of a 20 amino acid polyaspartate peptide by an engineered Bacillus subtilis WB600/pBE92-Asp biofilm slightly reduced the corrosion rate of the passive aluminum alloy at pH 6.5; however, the secretion of γ-polyglutamate by a Bacillus licheniformis biofilm reduced the corrosion rate by 90% (compared to the B. subtilis WB600/pBE92 biofilm which did not secrete polyaspartate or γ-polyglutamate). The corrosion potential (Ecorr) of aluminum 2024 was increased by about 0.15-0.44 V due to the formation of B. subtilis and B. licheniformis biofilms as compared to sterile controls. The increase of Ecorr and the observed prevention of pitting indicate that the pitting potential (Epit) had increased. This result and the further decrease of corrosion rates for the passive aluminum alloy suggest that the rate of the anodic metal dissolution reaction was reduced by an inhibitor produced by the biofilms. Purified γ-polyglutamate also decreased the corrosion rates of aluminum 2024.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-657
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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