Graphene continues to amaze scientists with its "talents": in the near future it can be used in the fight against bacterial corrosion of metal pipes.
Sulfate-reducing bacteria are widespread in wastewater treatment plants, which live in colonies in the form of biofilms on the surface of pipes and other equipment. Already 10 days after cleaning metal surfaces, bacteria reappear on them, leading to corrosion and subsequent destruction.
Bacteria infect pipes from the inside, even in spite of the polymer coatings, which, as it turned out, quite successfully feed on them. Over time, these coatings become brittle, crack and fragments of them enter the water supply.
Govind Chilkur, a researcher at the South Dakota School of Mining and Technology (USA), proposed to solve this problem by using graphene as a pipe coating. In laboratory tests, he found that even a single layer of graphene less than 1 nm thick prevents sulfate-reducing bacteria from entering the inner surface of metal pipes.
Taking into account the fact that graphene is one of the most durable artificial materials, it is advisable to use it in the creation of protective coatings instead of such popular polymers.