Research Highlight

Antibiotic shield against corrosion

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.113 Published online 29 April 2009

Streptomycin, an antibiotic known to combat plague and tuberculosis, looks promising to protect mild steel against corrosion1. Researchers have found that the drug molecules attach themselves to the surface of mild steel. The drug will be very effective in inhibiting corrosion of mild steel.

A few non-toxic and eco-friendly compounds have been investigated as corrosion inhibitors. To search out an easily available corrosion inhibitor, the researchers chose streptomycin. They took mild steel strips and aggressive solution of hydrochloric acid (HCl). Electrochemical studies were conducted using three electrodes including mild steel as the working electrode and streptomycin. Streptomycin inhibits the corrosion of mild steel in HCl solution.

The inhibition efficiency of streptomycin was found to increase with increase in inhibitor concentration. The study results prove that streptomycin is an efficient commercially available drug to check corrosion of mild steel, the researchers say.


  1. Shukla, K. S. et al. Streptomycin: A commercially available drug as corrosion inhibitor for mild steel in hydrochloric acid solution. Mater. Lett. 63, 819-822 (2009)