Live rust?

Hi,
I'm wondering what the deal is with live rust. I heard that rust is sometimes caused or catalyzed by basically a bacterium or perhaps more
primitive life form that is basically some of the non-organic bacteria, primitive metallic life.
The other day I was digging holes in the ground, and there are these rocks there. They're crumbly, they split open and fall apart when they're speared with a twenty pound pointed iron bar. They have this rich orange rust growing in them. So anyways it was muddy and some of the mud splashed on the bar. Only a few days later, there were rust spots on the bar that were growing.
I figure if I want to remove rust from these things I use phosphoric acid, naval jelly, to remove the rust and brush, wipe, and paint over with primer, or powder coat, but I'm more interested in the biological (?) catalysts of rust.
Is that totally mistaken? There was definitely more rust after exposure to live rust than there was before that. If they're bacteria, they aren't necesarily non-organic, or not cellular organisms, or are they? Rust bacterium here is just a name for what wee metallic beastie causes rust.
Thanks,
Ross F.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ross A. Finlayson wrote:

google gallionella
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.corr-institute.se/english/Web_DT/files/mechanisms.pdf
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ross A. Finlayson wrote:

Ross: You have opened up a big "can of worms" indeed. There is a whole 19 page chapter on Biological Corrosion Failures in the ASM Handbook volume #11 on Failure Analysis and Prevention that can be downloaded in draft form at:
http://www.asminternational.org/Template.cfm?Section=ShopASM&template ommerce/FileDisplay.cfm&fileF7AC.pdf
Pittsburgh Pete
DISCLAIMER
We do not believe what we write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for topical (external) use only. This information may not be worth any more than either a groundhog turd, or what you paid for it (nothing). The author may not even have been either sane or sober when he wrote it down. Do not worry, be happy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.