Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Jeremy M. Slagley, PhD


The use of biofuels in society is steadily becoming more prevalent. Through this proliferation a concern regarding the role of the fungus Byssochlamys nivea in microbially induced corrosion has surfaced. Through the use of X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) technology, this thesis focused on attempting to determine what effect, if any, Byssochlamys nivea has on the corrosion of mild steel. For this analysis, samples were placed in environments that simulated the conditions of fuel tanks containing the biofuel B20, water, and spores of Byssochlamys nivea for varying lengths of time. However, due to a variety of complicating factors involving the development of the samples analyzed in this thesis, no clear determination can be drawn about the influence of Byssochlamys nivea on mild steel. Some evidence may point towards microbially induced corrosion occurring in the form of iron reduction, however no conclusive statements on such a matter can be claimed, due to the lack of a comparable control. As such, the findings of this thesis ultimately describe the methods by which future researchers should carry out the preparation and execution of the experiment and analysis of samples in order to successfully identify any microbially influenced corrosion in mild steel that results from direct influence from the fungus Byssochlamys nivea.

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