Srdjan Nesic explains pipeline corrosion in the 2018 W.R. Whitney Award Lecture

By Sammy Miles

Dr. Srdjan Nesic, the 2018 W.R. Whitney Award recipient, presented his lecture “Uniform and Localized Corrosion of Mild Steel in CO2/H2S Aqueous Environments—Mechanisms and Models” on Tuesday. This award is given to an individual who has made public contributions to the science of corrosion. 

With 2,225,000 km of pipelines in the United States and more offshore, corrosion in pipelines is a major concern. Nesic began his presentation by discussing different corrosion mechanisms. He explained the role of CO2 and H2S in pipeline corrosion, and emphasized the need to better understand the effects of water chemistry, including pH.

Nesic continued by showing the evolution of predictive models for pipeline corrosion that have been proposed since the 1960s. Many of these models fail to accurately portray the corrosion, he explained, for reasons such as they do not take more extreme conditions into account or they grossly over predict the occurrence of corrosion.

To conclude, Nesic stressed the need to move away from empirical models of corrosion and instead create and use mechanistic models. In the future, research that enables development of mechanistic corrosion models needs to continue, in part to help improve accuracy, stability, and speed. Nesic also stated the need for broader involvement in the research by more people and that the models need to be disseminated.