White Paper: Techniques for Microbial Influenced Corrosion (MIC) Monitoring

What’s inside

While corrosion has been a well-studied field for many years, microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) has only been recognized as a substantial contributing factor in recent decades.

MIC has been conservatively estimated to make up 20% of all corrosion, however the proportion is likely higher as technologies and industry knowledge develops to become better at identification and diagnostics. This substantial cost presents massive strain on businesses and governments responsible for maintaining important infrastructure. Though MIC is frequently associated with the oil and gas industry, it is also prevalent in other industrial and municipal sectors including manufacturing, water, and wastewater.

The prevalence and ubiquity of MIC underscores the importance of effective mitigation and monitoring strategies to reduce the risk of economic losses and health and safety risks due to leaving it unchecked.

In this white paper, discover:

  • The general background of MIC
  • Historical test methods to identifying organisms involved in MIC
  • Current biological testing methods to be used to mitigate MIC risk, such as 2nd Generation ATP® testing, qPCR, and next-generation sequencing (NGS)


The traditional culture-based techniques used to assess microbial populations have significant limitations, including the lengthy turn-around time, inability to grow all organisms, and inability to grow some groupings at all.

LuminUltra offers rapid methods for microbial monitoring through the quantification and characterization of microbial populations to different levels of specificity using the measurement of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or analysis of DNA. ATP can be used to quantify live microorganisms in a sample and is useful for monitoring baseline microbial activity in a system and understanding how microorganisms respond to mitigation strategies.

However, ATP cannot differentiate between different types of microorganisms, so DNA-based methods such as qPCR and next generation sequencing (NGS) are used to provide a deeper level of understanding. These testing techniques are part of a comprehensive approach to MIC risk assessment and are employed at different frequencies depending on the situation.

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