Quantification of Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) Organisms using the Hunter® Real-Time PCR System

Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) of metallic materials results in billions of dollars in damage annually.  A wide range of microorganisms that naturally thrive in marine environments, oil reservoirs, and secondary seawater injection systems have been determined to be involved in MIC including:

  • sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB)
  • iron reducing bacteria (IRB)
  • methanogens
  • select Archaea

The Problem:

Significant focus is on the oil and gas industry where MIC can cause well and pipeline failures.  However, many other industries, including marine transportation and shipping, chemical processing, power generation, water treatment, and aviation are also affected by MIC. Early, accurate detection of these organisms allows for rapid treatment implementation to mitigate costs and downtime.  Unfortunately, most currently used culture based methods are either non-specific or require multiple days or weeks to generate actionable results.

Another option is Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), which provides accurate results but traditionally requires offsite processing that can add days or even weeks to result determination due to sample shipping and other delays.

The Solution:

InstantLabs has developed methods for direct in-field processing and qPCR analysis of water and biofilm samples using the Hunter® system. This portable total solution includes reagents and equipment that allow for the collection and processing of samples, nucleic acid extraction, and qPCR analysis on the touch-screen driven device. The entire system is portable, and results are delivered in just a few hours.

The platform, including several collection, extraction and qPCR assays have been developed in collaboration with a large oil services company. The ability to conduct analyses in the field provides actionable results in just a few hours, versus days or weeks that would be required for other methods.  High concentrations of these microorganisms warrant initiation of treatment and mitigation strategies that will minimize equipment or fleet downtime and result in significant corrosion-related cost savings.

Official launch expected in mid-2015.  Stay tuned for more details or contact us if you have questions. 

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