Industry Knowledge

Corrosion in Multiphase Environments
Oct 19, 2016
Many service applications involve the exposure to multiphase environments that contain produced, process or condensed water in combination with hydrocarbon liquid and dissolved gases such as H2S, CO2, O2 and other species. Under such conditions, many factors must be considered when assessing the system corrosivity. These include environmental parameters such as partial pressure of the acid gases, temperature, chloride content and the amount of buffering salts in solution. They indicate the corrosivity of the aqueous phase.
However, the physical and chemical properties of the liquid hydrogen carbon phase are also important since, in some cases, this phase can offer significant protection from corrosion. Finally, it is also important to take into account the mechanical forces acting in the system produced by flow in the environment. These forces will determine the flow regime and the degree of mixing as well as the wall shear stress on the exposed surfaces that can remove normally protective surface films.
In most cases, substantial water must be present in liquid hydrogen carbon phase to sustain corrosion to a significant degree. However, under certain circumstances, particularly those associated with stagnant conditions or where the liquid hydrocarbons possess little physical persistence on the metal surface, substantial corrosion can exist.

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