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Intelligent corrosion management underpinned by advanced engineering science

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - INTELLICORR (Intelligent corrosion management underpinned by advanced engineering science)

Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-04-30

Our planet’s population will grow by 1.1bn between 2010-2025 and urbanisation and consumer growth will lead to unprecedented energy demands. There is arguably no bigger engineering challenge than ensuring the security of affordable sustainable energy. Corrosion across the energy sector is widely accepted to impose massive costs. 3% of the GDP of developed nations is estimated to be the cost of corrosion and corrosion is one of the major life-limiting factors for energy supply (oil and gas, renewables, Enhanced Oil Recovery, Carbon Capture and Storage). This proposal brings some of the most exciting experimental and modelling engineering science to create a framework for the intelligent management of corrosion.
It is surprising that although worldwide we have been using carbon and low alloy steels as materials of construction since the 1960s there are two aspects of corrosion control that are largely ignored;
- We cannot predict localised corrosion
- We inject massive amounts of chemicals to mitigate corrosion without proper recognition of the environmental impact
The INTELLICORR programme has focused on facilitating a step change in corrosion management; shifting the paradigm by applying the best engineering science to a very important engineering problem.
The conclusions/achievements from the work programme are as follows:
• We have managed to link the structure and type of corrosion product to different forms of corrosion attack; this forms the basis for identifying conditions where natural corrosion products will protect the surface, and conditions where other forms of treatment will be required
• We have used x-ray measurements to understand whether and how pitting corrosion occurs underneath corrosion products
• We have been able to use specific high-resolution techniques to understand how the solution chemistry changes inside pits and underneath corrosion products
• We have been able to incorporate molecules into corrosion products to make them more protective and resistant to mechanical removal.
The main results of the programme are:

1. We have used x-ray measurements to look at the growth of pits/attack underneath corrosion products. This information was published in:
a. Wang, C., Hua, Y., Nadimi, S., Taleb, W., Barker, R., Li, Y., Chen, X., Neville, A. "Determination of thickness and air-void distribution within the iron carbonate layers using X-ray computed tomography." Corrosion Science 179 (2021): 109153.

2. We have examined the chemistry of corrosion products and their structure and linked it to their ability to protect carbon steel. Published in the following papers:
a. Yong, H., Mohammed, S., Barker, R., Neville, A. "Comparisons of corrosion behaviour for X65 and low Cr steels in high pressure CO2-saturated brine" Journal of Materials Science & Technology 41 (2020): 21-32.
b. Yong, H., Xu, S., Wang, Y., Taleb, W., Sun, J., Zhang, L., Barker, R., Neville, A. "The formation of FeCO3 and Fe3O4 on carbon steel and their protective capabilities against CO2 corrosion at elevated temperature and pressure." Corrosion Science 157 (2019): 392-405.

3. We have incorporated ions/molecules into corrosion products to change their protective and mechanical properties, through the following publications:
a. Yong, H., Shamsa, S., Barker, R., Neville, A. "Protectiveness, morphology and composition of corrosion products formed on carbon steel in the presence of Cl−, Ca2+ and Mg2+ in high pressure CO2 environments." Applied Surface Science 455 (2018): 667-682.
b. Shamsa, A., Barker, R., Hua. Y., Barmatov, E., Hughes, T., Neville, A. "The role of Ca2+ ions on Ca/Fe carbonate products on X65 carbon steel in CO2 corrosion environments at 80 and 150° C." Corrosion Science 156 (2019): 58-70.

4. We have looked closely at deposits formed in highly toxic environments and linked their formation to localised corrosion. This was published in Corrosion Journal, but also presented at a US conference:
a. Pessu, F., Hua, Y., Barker, R., Neville, A. "A study of the pitting and uniform corrosion characteristics of X65 carbon steel in different H2S-CO2-containing environments." Corrosion 74, no. 8 (2018): 886-902.
b. Pessu, F. Hua, Y., Taleb, W., Charpentier, T., Barker, R., Chang, F., Chen, T., Neville, A. "Localized and general corrosion characteristics of carbon steel in H2S environments." In CORROSION 2019. OnePetro, 2019.

5. We have shown that corrosion products can support reactions at their surface which initiate localised attack, through the following publication:
a. Barker, R. Yazdi, R., Hua, Y., Jackson, A., Ghanbarzadeh, A., Huggan, A., Charpentier, T., Neville. A., "Development of an automated underwater abrasion rig to determine galvanic effects during the growth and localised breakdown of surface films in CO2-containing solutions." Review of Scientific Instruments 90, no. 3 (2019): 034101.

6. We have looked at the link between corrosion products and corrosion in high pressure environments. This was disseminated at a US corrosion conference:
a. Yong, H., Neville, A., Barker. R., "Corrosion behaviour of X65 steels in water-containing supercritical CO2 environments with NO2/O2." In CORROSION 2018. OnePetro, 2018.
The progress beyond the state-of-the-art has largely been based on the design, development and testing of bespoke equipment or methodologies, including:
• Design of in-situ Raman cell – a setup that can measuring the local chemistry at a corroding interface at very small scale
• Design of an in-situ abrasion rig – a setup where we can remove corrosion products in their corrosive environment and watch them grow back.
• Novel ‘dopants’ for corrosion products – we have managed to incorporate molecules into corrosion products to change their properties
• We have used x-ray measurements to look at how steel corrodes under corrosion products
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