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Research

Research Areas

The Curtin Corrosion Engineering Industry Centre has developed special expertise to validate specific Corrosion Inhibitor (CI) procedures and protocols. Some of the key research areas related to oilfield corrosion inhibitors that the centre is currently involved in are as follows:

Top-of-the-Line corrosion (TOL)

This is one of the critical problems associated in the transportation of the wet gas. TOL corrosion occurs when water vapour within the gas mixture gets condensed on the upper portion of the internal pipe wall. This cannot be treated by conventional methods like continuous injecting of corrosion inhibitors at regular intervals. To reduce the intensity of this problem, Curtin Corrosion Engineering Industry Centre has tried to develop a reliable method to simulate TOL corrosion at the laboratory level. Initial test methods are used to develop corrosion inhibitors ability to provide protection via batch treatment or through the action of volatile compounds.

Under Deposit Corrosion (UDC)

Corrosion at deposited steel surfaces is encountered in many industries, including oil and gas, mining, and in domestic applications. UDC can have different forms, ranging from thin film of corrosion and/or scale deposits, coatings and insulations to thick layers of accumulated mixtures of organic and inorganic nature, which particularly found in internal oil and gas lines.

UDC represents a significant threat to the underlying steels as it is known to result in localized corrosion, a severe type of corrosion that is difficult to uncover in operating systems and to account for in corrosion-management strategies. Furthermore, the presence of deposits and their chemical nature can affect the efficiency of the applied corrosion inhibition measures. For example, certain corrosion-inhibitor molecules can adsorb onto mineral particles, which results in inadequate protection of the steel and subsequent corrosion.

The CCEIC research team has developed a methodology for determining the extent of UDC, using combined electrochemical and surface analytical methods. This UDC-research methodology has been successfully used in both fundamental and applied research, and adopted in projects for oil and gas, and mining industries. In addition, our team has been investigating electrochemical noise as a method for early detection of localized corrosion at deposited carbon steels.

Microbiologically Induced Corrosion (MIC)

Microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC) refers to corrosion caused or accelerated by the presence and activities of microorganism estimated to account for 20% of the total cost of corrosion. The CCEIC has in the recent years developed significant capabilities in studying MIC phenomenon. Through technology and knowledge transfer, the centre is able to put a new spin on the MIC mechanism. By cooperation with the CHIRI Biosciences Research Precinct and other research centres at Curtin University, CCEIC has expanded its research capabilities to provide high-end technology and cutting-edge methods to study microbes and their effects on infrastructure and processes in the energy industry. The team combines the application of molecular technologies, electrochemistry, chemical characterization and surface analytical methods to study MIC. Core areas of research include marine corrosion, preservation of subsea equipment, bacteria-deposit corrosion and oilfield microbial corrosion. The CCEIC-MIC team is actively engaged with the industry to ensure research and developments in the field respond to industry needs and address issues of national significance.

Corrosion Inhibition

At the Curtin Corrosion Engineering Industry Centre, the corrosion inhibition research focuses at in-situ investigations where the steels are exposed to corrosive environments that simulate real-life operation conditions, and take into account the metallurgical properties of the steels.

Our recent research include application of advanced analytical methods for understanding the corrosion and corrosion inhibition processes. For example, we have applied synchrotron-sourced Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy to describe the orientation of an organic molecule at carbon steel surfaces and successfully applied in-situ atomic force microscopy to investigate persistency of a corrosion-inhibitor film at carbon steel in corrosive media.

Key publications:

  1. Dwivedi, K. Lepková, T. Becker, Carbon steel corrosion: A review of key surface properties and characterization methods, RSC Advances, DOI: 10.1039/c6ra25094g (2017).
  2. Pandarinathan, K. Lepková, S.I. Bailey, T. Becker, R. Gubner, Adsorption of corrosion inhibitor 1-dodecylpyridinium chloride on carbon steel studied by in-situ AFM and electrochemical methods, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 53 (14) (2014) 5858-5865.
  3. Lepková, W. van Bronswijk, P. Pandarinathan, R. Gubner, Synchrotron far infrared spectroscopy of corroded steel surfaces using a variable angle of incidence, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 21 (2014) 580-585.
  4. Lepková, W. van Bronswijk, P. Pandarinathan, R. Gubner, Synchrotron infrared microscopy study of the orientation of an organic surfactant on a microscopically rough steel surface, Vibrational Spectroscopy, 68 (2013) 204-211.
  5. Pandarinathan, K. Lepková, S.I. Bailey, R. Gubner, Evaluation of corrosion inhibition at sand-deposited carbon steel in CO2-saturated brine, Corrosion Science, 72 (2013) 108-117.
  6. Pandarinathan, K. Lepková, S.I. Bailey, R. Gubner, Inhibition of under-deposit corrosion of carbon steel by Thiobenzamide, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 160 (2013) C432-C440.