This study investigated the characterization of Ficus exasperata extract and the optimization of the process variables on inhibition of mild steel in seawater environment. Box Behnken Design was employed to examine the influence of three process variables: Temperature: 25-29 °C; Time: 3 – 6 days; Inhibitor concentration: 1-5 v/v. Phytochemical screening of the extract was done. The physicochemical constituents of the seawater were also determined. The experimental data was statistically determined and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) was used to characterize the mild steel. The result of the phytochemical screening of the Ficus exasperata plant extract (FEPE) showed the presence of contain inhibitive constituents: alkaloids, tannins, saponins, flavonoids and glycosides. The highest inhibition efficiency of 86.31% at a temperature of 29 ℃ for 6days at an inhibition concentration of 3v/v was observed from the experimental run. The optimal process levels of time: 5.74 days, temperature: 27.95 ℃ and inhibitor concentration: 2.90v/v, gave 87.52% as its inhibition efficiency. The result of the SEM from the optimal process level validated showed that more passive film was formed which can be attributed to the adsorption of the Ficus exasperata extract. It can be concluded that the Ficus exasperata was a good eco-friendly inhibitor.
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