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Content archived on 2024-04-16

Resolution of problems of corrosion and scaling in geothermal systems


The research program includes low- and high-enthalpy geothermal exploitation. Its objectives are:

- Understanding of the physical and chemical processes of corrosion and scaling in geothermal installations;
- Modelling of these phenomena;
- Definition of new methods for investigating and combating corrosion and scaling.

The project is divided between the participants in the two branches of high- and low-enthalpy.

For the low-enthalpy field the programme will include:

1) Analyzing the mechanism, under different conditions of exploitation, of corrosion and scaling with the formation of iron sulfide. This study requires: a) the development and use of a new and specific bottom-hole sampler; b) laboratory tests; c) new numerical models.

2) Analyzing the influence of sulphate-reducing bacteria producing H2S and also the procedures to combat them.

3) Studying and testing special anti-corrosive methods : a) organic inhibitors (including solid state); b) mineral inhibitors; c) sulfide oxidation.

For the high-enthalpy field the program will include:

1) Improving the understanding of two-phase flow geothermal systems;

2) Determining the significance of various factors that favour scaling;

3) Studying coagulation of colloidal sulphide and silica particles and the possibility of separating them;

4) Studying new methods for separating non-condensible gases from steam;

5) Studying the mechanisms of calcium-carbonate and iron-sulfide scaling and their relationships;

6) Examining the relationship between scaling and corrosion;

7) Studying the mechanisms and controls of chloride corrosion by : a) analysis of droplet condensation from wet steam in long pipes; b) laboratory studies of steam and gas cleansing.


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Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM)
EU contribution
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39-43 Quai André Citroën
75739 Paris

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Participants (9)