I think the metal of the car first goes through an acid corrosion, followed by an electrochemical corrosion. First, the uric acid in bird poop corrodes with iron: 2Fe+C5H4N4O3 -> C5N4O3Fe2+2H2. Then, after the acid is used up, the moisture in the poop participates in an electrochemical corrosion(?). Can someone explain what exactly happens electrochemically?

And please correct me if any of my conclusions were wrong, as I mainly used my own limited knowledge and guessed. I am confident that there is some electrochemistry involved though.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, corrosion is an electrochemical reaction. Exactly what is happening I'm not going to speculate. I will point out that it is much more complicated than it might seem. If you have a big sheet of steel it isn't just one big homogeneous plate. Rather there are small cells within the structure that have grain boundaries. Thus there is an unevenness to the composition of the steel when the plate is considered on a microscopic scale. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Mar 25 '19 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ @MaxW Thank you. I read that there is an acid corrosion theory, an electrochemical theory, and some others. In this case, is it correct that there is first an acid corrosion, and then an electrochemical one? Or are all corrosions electrochemical? Also, in this case, what are the reactants in the electrochemical reaction? $\endgroup$ – Ke Yang Mar 25 '19 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ @MaxW Also, the unevenness that you mentioned, does it mean that each cell is going through a reaction, and it ends up having thousands of reactions on one sheet of steel? Does its microscopic composition affect the overall corrosive reaction? $\endgroup$ – Ke Yang Mar 25 '19 at 23:59

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