Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

May 04, 2021

Quote of the week: “When inspiration comes, let him find me working.” — Pablo Picasso, Spaniard painter (1881 – 1973).

From The Editor's Corner


A noticeable problem

Own estimation about the global cost of corrosion in 2019 said that it was about USD $4.8 T. It is understandable that a more significant proportion of the metallic surfaces in use are exposed to the atmosphere. Calculations about the proportion shown that around 80% of the metallic surfaces are faced with atmospheric corrosion. Consequently, 30 to 50% of the cost of corrosion could be related to atmospheric corrosion. This means that approximately 1.5 to 2.4 trillion US dollars may have been the cost generated by the deleterious effect of the atmosphere on metallic materials in 2019 worldwide. Studies about atmospheric corrosion problems and solutions are noteworthy, including paints, alloys, design practices, etc. But the issues are still huge. The main reason for such a situation is that corrosive manipulation is generally away from the control of Corrosionists. Atmospheric pollution is the culprit. News about the identification of the problems dates back to 1661 when John Evelyn in his book “Fumifugium: Or the Inconvenience of the Aer and Smoake of London Dissipated” wrote, “….this is that pernicious Smoake … spoyling the moveables, tarnishing the Plate, Gildings and Furniture, and corroding the very Iron-bars and hardest Stones….” Five years later, Christopher Wren, designer of the Saint Paul London cathedral, warned of the need to prevent corrosion of the atmosphere, saying “in cramping of stones, no iron should lie within nine inches of air if possible.” This was the time of the emergence of an economy based on fossil fuels, coal at the beginning, and the starting point of the First Industrial Revolution. Three and a half centuries of urban pollution encompassed industrial development—pollution directly related to the deterioration of materials exposed to the atmosphere. According to the dose-response functions established for many places, many of the corrosion costs mentioned before are linked to the concentration of anthropogenic pollutants like SOₓ, NOₓ, CO₂, particulate matter, and acidic species thrown into the air.

Breaking the rhythm

​A tiny break

After 300 years, the situation in London and other cities in developed countries significantly improved. Economic forces moved contamination to other regions, and an excellent example of severe pollution problems during the last decades has been Beijing with its famous and dangerous smog clouds. After the Second World War, macroeconomic trends, mostly related to workforce costs and quality of life concerns in rich countries, moved most of the more pollutant manufacturing plants to the less developed countries. Examples other than London, where factories were dismantled and the air became better, are Pittsburgh (U.S.A.), Torino (Italy), and Bilbao (Spain), three of the former “industrial cities” and archetypes of the industrialized world. A summary of the downward trend in Europe between 1987 and 2014 shows that all levels of major atmospheric pollutants are decreasing linearly. Looking at data about SO₂ emissions, between 1980 and 2010, the total emissions fell from 71.25 million tons to 19.79 million tons. In the case of South America, the change was 8.76 million tons to 6.56 million tons. Such a trend is supported by specific data as the Bogota figures, which show that in 1998 the average SO₂ concentration was 27 µg.m⁻³ and had fallen to 5 µg.m⁻³ in 2012. Globally, less polluting fuels are a common concern. In Latin America, deindustrialization and transference of industrial plants transfer to the countryside are two of the additional factors.

A sudden inflection point

In 2020, pandemics held out humankind against an immeasurable crisis. We have emphasized the adverse effects of quarantine on the acceleration and invigoration of the corrosive attack. A worsening of the problems due to the changes in the industrial operation regimes, the lack of control, interruptions on anticorrosive practices, the pause on training at all levels, etc. Thinking about the situation of materials exposed to the atmosphere, worries are the same. However, considering the atmospheric pollutants, we must say that these species play an active role in the crisis because the populations living in polluted regions are more sensitive to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In addition, there is a potential effect of air pollution acting as a physical carrier of the virus. But the news to be specially highlighted as being the reduction of pollutants together lockdown. For example, in April 2020, there were measured reductions in the NO₂ concentrations in traffic stations in Spain, France, and Italy of about 60 – 70%. Something similar was found with particulate matter, too. Changes in consumer patterns have been drastic, and the major sectors contributing to CO₂ emissions (power, industry, and surface transport) underwent significant reductions. As a result, in the same month of April, the average daily global emissions of CO₂ decreased by 17%, from about 100 million tons to about 83 million tons.

The change we need

According to the UN Environment Program (UNEP), since 2010, major greenhouse gas –GHG (CO₂, methane (CH₄), and nitrous oxide (N₂O)) emissions have grown at 1.4% per year on average. However, for 2020, initial data indicate that the yearly decrease in SO₂ emissions was approximately 7%; meanwhile, the drop in the GHG emissions was only more than 1.2%. These values suggest that the objectives of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement are challenging to achieve, but the lockdown has shown pathways. The primary purpose is to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius above preindustrial times by 2100 instead of the currently predicted three degrees. Prospective risks of this warming are related to a cascade of potentially catastrophic impacts, including increases in extreme weather, rising sea level, flooding many coastal cities, the destruction of natural ecosystems, and damage to agricultural systems. As a countermeasure, humans must reduce emissions by 2.7% each year from 2020 to 2030. If we prefer to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the reduction must be 7.6% yearly, and 45% in total, during the coming decade. Most of the most polluting countries have committed to the goal of net-zero emissions. Some of them, like China, have set some decades as their deadlines. In the case of the second pollutants emitter, the U.S.A. President has announced a commitment to curb GHG emissions to at least 50% below 2005 levels by the end of this decade (reducing emissions of about 2.000 million tons). Specific actions mentioned at the outset include decarbonizing the electricity sector by 2035 and electrifying vehicles. The European Union has announced its goal of curbing emissions to 55% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Good news for materials and assets

Studies on the behavior of materials exposed to several European atmospheres since the 1980s show that corrosion rates of materials like carbon steel, weathering steel, zinc, copper, and limestone decreased abruptly during the first ten years. Then, corrosion rates on metallic materials followed slowly falling, mainly in urban sites. In principle, an international purpose of net-zero emission looking for saving our planet is a trend towards atmospheres free of anthropogenic pollutants, turning urban and industrial corrosive atmospheres into something like rural ones. Such kind of conventional classification of corrosive atmospheres must change. Materials life-span will increase. Protection measurements may be more modest. Corrosionists and engineers, in general, must establish new design and materials selection guidelines; maintenance requirements will decrease; materials and anticorrosion businesses will have to be rethought.

Remember: Protection of materials and equipment is a profitable business!

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

Catch up on applied Machine Learning skills at O&G

Colleague Hoss Belyadi, a Senior Data Engineer at Vine Oil and Gas LP and founder and CEO of Obsertelligence, LLC, U.S.A., has announced his book "ML Guide for Oil and Gas Using Python." According to the pre-orders received, Hoss gives away three free copies of the book, including shipping, honored by the book's acceptance. Interested colleagues can put a "like" and comment “interested” into Hoss’s post:


A new invention on metallic coatings

The Boeing Company, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., submitted the last 15th of April a patent application to the US Patent Office, entitled “electrodeposited zinc and iron coatings for corrosion resistance.” Inventors are V.S. Ijeri (India), S.P. Gaydos (USA), B.K. Bidyut (India), and D. Chakraborty (India). In brief, the new development concerns a process for electrodeposition of Zn-Fe alloys using a bath containing an alkali metal hydroxide, a zinc salt, a condensation polymer of epichlorohydrin, a quaternary amine, an aliphatic amine, polyhydroxy alcohol, an aromatic organic acid or salt, amino alcohol, a bisphosphonic acid salt, an iron salt, an alkali metal gluconate, and an amine-based chelating agent.

Development of an anticorrosive and anti- SARS-CoV-2 coating

A partnership between researchers from three Japanese universities reported the use of hydrothermal methods for synthesizing a cerium molybdate, γ-Ce₂Mo₃O₁₃, CMO. This compound shows high antiviral properties against viruses such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2. According to the researchers, such powder can be used as a coating additive on several substrates without any risk of corrosion as happens with coatings base on Cu, Ag, and other metallic elements.


Process engineer for an unconventional resources operations department

Position: Process Engineer

Seeker: Saudi Aramco

Location: Saudi Arabia

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Experience: You will have a minimum of 12 years experience with a strong preference for 15 years plus experience in the industrial operation facility; a shale gas facility is preferred. You should also have a good knowledge of the modular skids mounted process unit.

● Skills: You will be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of industry standards and procedures, such as API and ASMI codes, required to support the review of company standards, project reviews, and implementation of plant modifications to process systems. You should also have experience creating/modifying PFDs, P&IDs, troubleshooting process equipment, and system failures, including pumps, compressors, pipeline/piping, and dehydration systems.

Job description: Saudi Aramco is seeking a Process Engineer to join our Unconventional Resources Operations Department (UROD). The UROD is responsible for operating all the surface facilities, including the field wells and processing facilities. Your primary role will be to operate the well manifolds, provide field services, maintain the facility, and reduce equipment downtime, perform the PM activities, and provide maintenance services, in addition to providing all the technical engineering and inspection activities. You will lead the process design review, follow the construction, and conduct the commissioning and testing activities for the new shale gas facilities.

Energy specialist

Position: Energy Specialist

Seeker: World bank group

Location: Accra, Ghana

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: A Bachelor’s degree in engineering with at least two years of experience in technical/ engineering aspects of the distribution sector (including off-grid applications) of the power sector is essential, and a Masters’ level degree in energy planning, finance, economics, business administration, or equivalent area.

● Experience: At least five years of total relevant experience in the energy sector with demonstrated ability to engage credibly on a range of issues in the energy sector in different regions. Prior experience working in the Ghana power sector based in Ghana for at least two years is an essential requirement.

● Skills: Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena. Understands policy-making process distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients.

Job description: It is expected that the selected candidate will be providing technical and engineering support to teams on project preparation and implementation, including policy and analytical work to be carried out as part of the overall energy program, supporting donor coordination, and liaising with local and international counterparts (including the private sector), as necessary.

Engineer-in-training II

Position: EIT II - Underground Storage & Reservoir Engineering

Seeker: Enbridge

Location: Chatham, ON, CAN

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: University Degree in Engineering.

● Experience: 2 - 4 years of engineering experience. Understanding of wells and well drilling.

● Skills: Ability to think analytically and perform detailed analysis. Ability to coordinate multiple projects at one time and meet defined timelines. Well-organized and strategic problem-solving skills with well-developed verbal and written communication skills.

● Bonus: Strong interpersonal and team skills with the ability to influence without authority. Digital Literacy and familiarity with PC applications. Experience in management programs is desired.

Job description: Create, manage, and maintain integrity assessment programs and plans to ensure Enbridge Gas’ storage wells remain safe, environmentally responsible, reliable, and in compliance with the requirements of applicable standards and regulations. Provide technical support on integrity matters, including consultation on designs and procedures—development of engineering standards and practices related to underground storage assets. Complete engineering evaluations of storage assets and provides recommendations for improvement through maintenance and expansion projects. Maintenance of asset records for underground storage wells.

Networking & Knowledge Exchange

Diving deeper into risk management. Virtual

It involves understanding the negative impact of the hazard in the workplace and how to eliminate it. Join hazard risk/evaluation expert Robert Johnson as he addresses how to prepare for, conduct, and report an effective PHA while complying with the latest regulations. Attend, and you’ll receive the CCPS book Guidelines for Hazard Evaluation Procedures, 3rd Edition, which you can refer to back on the job for a refresher of the practical evaluation methods facing process safety demands.

Dates: Wednesday, May 19th – 21st, 2021.

Time: Daily EST (GMT – 4)

Corrosion and assets integrity. Virtual

The Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association – EEMUA, based in London, will be hosting an online event oriented to present and training attendance on subjects related to the structural integrity of critical plants in challenging environments and the prevention of the escape of hazardous fluids. The topics to be discussed are:

● CUI risk analytics of cold insulation pipelines with monitoring sensors

● In-service robotic inspection and analysis of large data sets: An end-user perspective

● Improving the efficiency of tank floor scanning: A floor mapping system

● Design life composite repairs of high integrity pipework: Lessons learned

Date: Thursday, May 13th, 2021.

Time: 12:00 – 15:30 BST (GMT + 1).

Argentinian Congress of Corrosion and Integrity in the O&G industry -CICIPG. Virtual

The Argentinian Institute of Oil & Gas, supported by the National Institute of Industrial Technology, organizes the Fourth CICIPG. Topics to be treated range from the materials and equipment selection to the management of risk, corrosion issues, and assets integrity. Examples of the specific subjects are water treatment plants, integrity in off-shore systems, cathodic protection of pipelines, corrosion mechanisms, inspection & assessment, etc.

Date: Monday to Wednesday, May 31st to June 2nd, 2021.

Time: Daily ART (GMT – 3).

Photo by Tom Martin on Unsplash