Award year


Professor Dave Shoesmith and Surface Science Western Senior Research Scientist Dr. Sridhar Ramamurthy have been awarded an Imperial Oil Limited University Research Award ($25,000) to develop a better understanding of the corrosion behaviour of typical engineering materials used in refinery processes in solutions containing dilute fluoride ions, with and without the presence of chloride and thiosulphate species. Congratulations Dave and Sri!

Project Title: Corrosion Behaviour of Typical Engineering Materials Used in Refinery Processes in Solutions Containing Dilute Fluoride Ions.

Fluoride ions have long been recognized for the role they play in the corrosion of many construction materials that are used in the construction of process equipment. There are several potential sources that could contribute to either acute or chronic levels of fluoride ions. These include chemical cleaning solvents (dilute HF or ammonium bi-fluoride), entrained fluoride ions in crude oil from formation acidizing procedures with HF, or potentially from reprocessing fluoride-containing refinery streams. While carbon steel is commonly used in HF alkylation units, which operate at high acid strength and low temperatures, it becomes susceptible to accelerated corrosion when the acid strength drops below 90%. Much less has been published on the corrosion of construction materials by fluoride ions when they are present in dilute solutions (0 to 5000 ppm) at elevated temperatures, such as those found in refinery operations.
Thus, there is a need to develop a better understanding of the corrosion behaviour of typical engineering materials that are used in refinery processes. These include carbon, and low alloy steels, and the various grades of stainless steels, and nickel alloys. Additionally, the impact of pH on the corrosion process in these dilute fluoride ion systems is also of interest. This proposal outlines some of the electrochemical and surface analytical methodologies that will be employed in this study to determine the corrosion behaviour of selected stainless steels and nickel-based alloys of interest. A major outcome of this research is to identify materials with improved corrosion resistance for possible applications in the refinery systems.