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Discerning different and opposite effects of hydrogenase on the corrosion of mild steel in the presence of phosphate species

Abstract : Mild steel coupons were exposed to hydrogenase in a 10 mM phosphate solution. Control coupons were covered by a layer of vivianite. The injection of hydrogenase caused a fast increase in the open circuit potential; this increase depended on the amount of hydrogenase injected and increased from 8 mV for 30 μL hydrogenase to 63 mV for 80 μL. The presence of enzyme resulted in a thicker deposit: high amounts induced the accumulation of corrosion products. Hydrogenase that was deactivated by air revealed a protective effect: non-degradation was observed. In contrast, hydrogenase that was denatured by heat provoked an important deposit of corrosion products with a heterogeneous, cracked structure. The study showed that the action of hydrogenase is not linked to its regular enzymatic activity but to a balance between the protective effect of its protein shell and the electrochemical action of its iron-sulphur clusters. Depending on the operating conditions, hydrogenase can either enhance or mitigate the formation of a corrosion layer on mild steel.
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Maha Mehanna, Ingrid Rouvre, Marie-Line Délia-Dupuy, Damien Féron, Alain Bergel, et al.. Discerning different and opposite effects of hydrogenase on the corrosion of mild steel in the presence of phosphate species. Bioelectrochemistry, Elsevier, 2016, 111, pp.31-40. ⟨10.1016/j.bioelechem.2016.04.005⟩. ⟨hal-01907323⟩

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