Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

August 31, 2021

Quote of the week: “A transition to clean energy is about making an investment in our future.” Gloria Reuben (1964), Canadian actor/singer/author (

From The Editor's Corner

A leap from the black to the green business

Good and bad news

In the never-ending struggle between good and bad press titles, usually, the first ones win. Always, thanks to the human capacity of changing problems into challenges and inventing the corresponding solutions. As a result, one of the news last days was about Yara, the multinational fertilizer company based in Norway (one of the main global crude oil producers). According to the OECD, transportation contributes 27% of global CO2 emissions, and 80% of this last figure is due to trucks and cars. Consequently, Yara decided to buy a ship, the “Yara Birkeland,” the first electric and uncrewed cargo ship globally, with batteries charged by the Norwegian hydroelectric system, to be used for transporting their products. In the end, about 40.000 truck trips off the road will be avoided yearly by using a green electric ship instead.

Coming from the Scandinavian region is also a further headline over the current days. As mentioned earlier, over 7% of the total CO2 emitted worldwide comes from the steelmaking process. Consequently, some companies are working hard to find alternative pathways to coal usage, both as a reagent and combustible of the process. One of such companies is HYBRIT, a consortium which motto is “fossil-free steel,” aimed to develop an ironmaking technology based on green hydrogen. This past August 18, the Company announced the launch of the world's first fossil-free steel.

Depending on the point of view, the good or bad news is announcing coal mines decommissioning and the growing limitation to fund fossil fuels. Harsh news is also to know that emission levels continue to increase quickly (power sector CO2 emissions were 7% higher in June 2021 than June 2019) and storms, wildfires, and flooding too. Besides, in a report from the last 7th of August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) draws some emission scenarios. One of its findings is that without a 50% greenhouse gas - GHG - reduction, the global temperature increase could exceed 1.5°C after 2050.

But another positive current news is related to the transformation of the US agency in charge of the development and usage of fossil fuels, towards a new one also in charge of carbon management, including the combat against CO2 emission, by reducing generation, transforming it into new products, and storing it properly. “A new name with a new vision”: Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management of the U.S. Department of Energy. Here, we are talking about a new field of engineering envisioned by S. Pacala and R. Socolow in 2004, as “Carbon, Capture, Usage, and Storage – CCUS” or a set of technologies to remove CO2 from the flue gas and from the atmosphere, followed by recycling the CO2 for utilization and determining safe and permanent storage options. It is a key decarbonization strategy that becomes an alleviation for the coal, oil, and gas producers, including countries, companies, and the vast amount of Corrosionists dealing with asset integrity, mainly in the O&G industry.

Nice is to hear the news about starting the trend of venture capitalists towards climate innovations and decarbonization. Directly related is the fact that new patents concerning non-fossil fuels and CCUS are snowballing. Without any doubt, new energy sources and the new field of CCUS open new opportunities and challenges for Corrosionist and our startups because new processes, new materials, new operating conditions, new storage requirements, etc., must be managed, and caring of assets will become more critical, even.

Carbon capture or sequestration

It is the point of departure for use or storage, and solutions include direct carbon capture in the air. Technologies about that are just budding, but they are gaining traction. According to the IPCC report, up to 1.000.000 million tons of CO2 must be removed from the atmosphere, and the current capacity is only 5.000 per year. One of the present limits is the considerable amount of reagents needed, both liquid and solid, and energy due to the high temperature and low efficiency of existing processes. As a result, costly solutions. The good news is that there are projects like the one developed by Climeworks in Switzerland, funded with USD $10 million by the reinsurer Swiss Re Group. In this case, the funders recognize the impact of climate change on their business. During this time, the project proponent seeks to remove the atmospheric pollutant directly from the atmosphere and dissolve it in water to pump into the deep subsoil for permanent storage. CO2 capture is a challenge. The recent scientific literature shows several attempts. For example, microporous hollow fiber sorbents treated with polyethylenimine have been tested. As a result, an uptake rate of 2.8 mmol-CO2/g-fiber has been reported. In addition, a recent announcement mentioned a partnership between GE Research and the universities of California – Berkeley and South Alabama, in the USA. In this case, they are developing a two-year, USD $2 million project funded by the US Department of Energy. They aim to obtain a 3D printed heat exchanger technology coated with a metal-organic framework (MOF) sorbent and sorbent binder composite to capture and release CO2.

Storing and using carbon

The sequestered CO2 could be sent into space and eventually deposited in extraterrestrial bodies. But much easier is to inject in the ground, in underground salt formations and others, as a precursor to carbon mineralization in new geological constituents.

Usage is another option, and here it is possible to think about the temporal or “permanent” fixing of the pollutant. For instance, the captured GHG for products like fuels and raw materials for chemicals, polymers, beverages, biofuels, and omega-3 fatty acids would quickly re-release carbon into the atmosphere. But attractive applications, mainly for the heavy industry, like carbon cured concrete and synthetic aggregate in construction materials, DRI steel produced, and other alloys or plastics can provide long-term storage.

It is easy to understand that CO2 usage is receiving significant attention from researchers. Thus, in 2020 scientists published over 1700 papers in comparison with less than 500 ten years ago. Attractive for Corrosionists is that from the cost point of view, electrochemical pathways are the most promising for the GHG reduction to CO for the procurement of new raw materials for the industry in general, and for the fuels sectors, in particular. Methane, methanol, ethane, ethanol, ethylene, or propane are potential products. But the efficiency is still very low, and the cost of the required electricity is higher than the value of the chemicals produced. However, an exciting exercise of Circular Economy looks in perspective.

The race for the energy transition and CCUS as a green business just has started. Momentum is growing. Innovation is the "fuel,” and discoveries and scaling await the Corrosionists’ proposals and solutions. The energy generation processes and the industrial applications are evolving, and opportunities arise.

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

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

Drone Operations Collaborative (DOC) is a turnkey emergency inspection package to help utilities respond to disasters

Beyond the Drone announcement of the Drone Operations Collaborative (DOC) launch, a comprehensive inspection solution for utility companies that need to manage, assess, and report conditions during emergencies. Matt Peterson, CEO of Asymmetric Unmanned, understands the dual challenges of coordinating different teams during disasters while simultaneously managing airspace and eliminating conflict. He claims that “the speed of information sharing has a major impact on successful disaster response.”

New high corrosion resistance to be launched in October

High-corrosion steel users will have more choices when Nippon Steel's additional product line hits the market in October 2021. ZEXEED has far superior corrosion resistance compared to post-galvanized steel. , commonly used in civil engineering and social infrastructure industries and ordinary high corrosion resistant steel. By taking advantage of ZEXEED's excellent corrosion resistance, we will not only reduce life cycle costs by extending product life but also meet different needs of customers and society, such as pressing issues of measures to combat the aging of society's infrastructure, as well as the process and labor savings associated with the reduction of the working population.​

A call for research proposals

The European Patents Office has launched the fifth edition of its Academic Research Program. It aims to support collaborative research with grants of up to EUR 150.000. One of the research areas to be funded includes projects focused on the impact of academic research on disruptive industrial innovation.


Develop surface finishes with new colors and textures for Apple

Position: SME - Anodizing

Seeker: Apple.

Location: Nanshan, Guangdong, China.

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: BS/MS in engineering (chemical engineering, chemistry, or materials science) or equivalent record of industrial experience.

● Experience: Minimum 5 years of developing new cosmetic plated finishes.

● Skills: Experience utilizing combined mechanical finishing and anodizing process to meet ID desired texture and color targets, must be able to develop anodizing process and equipment to meet both cosmetic and functional reliability requirements, also could plan, execute, and present results from investigations using statistical analysis and communicate results and recommendations.

Job description: Apple is seeking for SME / anodizing willing to research new methods for creating new surface finishes and implementing tighter control of existing finishes, evaluate manufacturing processes at early stages of product development to define critical process requirements and controls for tightest output, plan and execute studies to confirm process capability to achieve excellent quality and high yields on high volume enclosures

A manager for onshore wind fleets

Positions: Country Asset Manager Onshore Wind.

Seeker: Vattenfall.

Location: Netherlands.

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: Bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, or similar.

● Experience: 6-8 years of relevant work experience within asset management, category management, product management, preferably within wind power generation.

● Skills: Ability to build business cases with risk-reward analyses for conscious decision-making. In case of decisions with a higher impact on value, able to prepare for management decision making with the right decision documents and presentations, including strong in project management.

Job description: Vattenfall is seeking a country asset manager onshore wind willing to closely monitor the risks, performance, and cost of on shore’s owned fleet in the Netherlands, operated either under the full control, full service or local optimized operating model, develop, establish and manage asset management´s service solution for divested assets in the Netherlands.

Be part of a big project in Saudi Arabia

Position: Corrosion Specialist.

Seeker: Bechtel.

Location: Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: Degree in a relevant engineering discipline or higher in a Materials Science or Metallurgical related subject.

● Experience: Minimum of 10 years of professional experience in the Metallurgy/Materials Science discipline.

● Skills: Mastery in depth competencies in material selection (metallic & non-metallic materials), corrosion principles, metallurgy and welding, corrosion protection, corrosion management, pipeline inspection and maintenance, the integrity of static equipment, cathodic protection and coating systems, knowledge of industry/ regulatory codes and standards; and, design criteria pertinent to the particular discipline also experience in contract management with knowledge of contract interpretation in an engineering consultation environment.

Job description: Betchel is seeking a Corrosion Specialist willing to measuring electrical activity in the soil and the pipelines/water tanks/marine exposed structures, using voltmeters, amp meters, resistivity meters, and other related equipment, assists the supervisor with planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating the monitoring Corrosion Control Program of Jubail and establishes and implements maintenance and monitoring programs for the analysis and correction of corrosion failures.

Networking & Knowledge Exchange

Mechanical Integrity in Pressure Vessels. Virtual

Penspen will be sharing a webinar about a holistic assessment of the integrity of pressure vessels. Themes include applying algorithms or formulas to determine pressures and design, operation, and maintenance conditions to guarantee a safe, reliable, and profitable operation.

Dates: Thursday, September 09th of 2021.

Time: From 16:00 to 17:00, (GMT - 5).

2021 China metal and metallurgy exhibition. In-person

Julang is offering a tree day exhibition to promote the commercial cooperation between domestic and foreign enterprises and as a bridge of enterprises between product and sales up to the present, held tens of international exhibitions and achieved fruitful accomplishments. Including topics such as:

● Plate metal, bar, wire, metal processing and setting equipment

● Stainless steel industry exhibition

● Laser equipment and sheet metal industry exhibition

● Fasteners & equipment exhibition

● Casting, die casting, foundry, and industrial furnace

● Non-ferrous metals (copper) exhibition

● Heat treatment industrial furnace

● Tube & pipe industry exhibition

● Spring industry exhibition

● Forging industry exhibition

Dates: FromThursday, September 16th to Saturday, September 18th of 2021.

The 2nd International Conference “Corrosion in the Oil and Gas Industry”. In-person

Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University together with NACE International is offering a three days conference devoted to the reliability of equipment of oil and gas industry facilities gathering scientists, specialists and engineers from different countries will talk about the latest technologies in the field of corrosion protection, innovative materials for capital construction of infrastructure in the Arctic, the shelf, approaches to monitoring and studying the mechanisms of corrosion.

Dates: FromWednesday, September 15th to Friday, September 17th of 2021.

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash