Sulfur Oxidizing Bacteria

Sulfur Oxidizing Bacteria (SOB).  This group of bacteria have the ability of oxidizing and obtaining energy from reduced forms of sulfur, like thiosulfate and sulfide, producing sulfuric acid that can cause severe corrosion to concrete and steel structures. These bacteria can live in a variety of environments that go from shallow marshes to deep, hydrothermal sea vents. However, the most relevant to the Oil and Gas industry can be found in pipelines, refineries, chemical plants and structures that are in constant contact with acidic water. Common organisms from this group are Thiobacillus spp. and Acidithiobacillus spp. that already cause issues in mining operations where sulfuric acid can contaminate natural sources of water.

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