Inhibition of mild steel corrosion in cooling systems by low- and non-toxic corrosion inhibitors

  • Mohamed Ahmed

Student thesis: Phd


AbstractThe aim of the research in this thesis was to study how environmentally friendly corrosion inhibitors for cooling water systems might be developed and used. Firstly, reduced toxicity inorganic corrosion inhibitors (i.e. nitrite/molybdate) were considered. Secondly, non-toxic inhibitors based on mono and di-basic salts of carboxylic acids were studied systematically as a function of carbon chain length. For nitrite inhibitor alone, a concentration of 7 mM NaNO2 was effective to inhibit carbon steel in chloride media of 10 mM NaCl, while 10 mM nitrite was needed in sulphate media of 3.66 mM Na2SO4. However, it was found possible to significantly reduce the concentration of nitrite by adding molybdate in synergy. This was attributed to the nitrite passivation combined with ferrous molybdate salt film pore plugging thus promoting a continuous and protective film on the material within these media. Thus, in pH 6-10 an inhibition efficiency of 97% was recorded with a mixture of 3 mM nitrite/2 mM molybdate in both chloride and sulphate media and at 25°C and 60°C. However as the solution pH decreased below pH 4 the inhibition efficiency decreased to about 47%.In the second part of the study, the use of sodium salts of carboxylic acids with different chain lengths has been investigated. In this part a summary of the performances and limitations of both mono- and di-sodium carboxylate inhibitors are presented. For mono-carboxylates, the inhibition efficiency reached a maximum value of 95% in stagnant aerated solutions at a chain length of C=4 with a critical inhibition concentration of 6 mM in 10 mM NaCl solution. However the inhibition efficiency gradually decreased as the number of carbon atoms in the chain length increased to more than 8, or less than 4, and this was in agreement with surface hydrophobicity and contact angle results. For lower chain lengths, the carboxylate anion becomes more acidic and complexing of the metal ion while for longer chain lengths, the carboxylate anion becomes less soluble and tends to micellise wherby the active groups are no longer available for surface adsorption.For di-carboxylates the inhibition efficiency improved in 10 mM NaCl at a given chain length compared with mono-carboxylates, and continued to increase to C=8 (sebacate), which achieved excellent inhibition efficiency. However, sebacate is costly so a blend with ethyl hexanoate was found to be economically favoured.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorStuart Lyon (Supervisor) & Xiaorong Zhou (Supervisor)


  • Mild steel -corrosion - inhibition - Toxic inhibitor - Nitrite -Molybdate - carboxylates -polarization

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