Reliability of Electrochemical Techniques for Determining Corrosion Rates on Carbon Steel in Sulfide Media

Lisbeth Rischel Hilbert, T. Hemmingsen, Lars Vendelbo Nielsen, S. Richter

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


    Effects of film formation on carbon steel in hydrogen sulfide (H2S) media may corrupt corrosion rate monitoring by electrochemical techniques. Electrochemical data from H2S solutions, biological sulfide media, and natural sulfide containing geothermal water have been collected, and the process of film formation in sulfide solutins was followed by video. It can be shown that capacitative and diffusional effects due to porous reactive deposits tend to dominate the data, resulting in unreliable corrosion rates measured using electrochemical techniques. The effect is strongly increased if the biofilm in combination with ferrous sulfide corrosion products cover the steel surface. Corrosion rates can be overestimated by a factor of 10 to 100 with electrochemical techniques - both by linear polarization resistance (LPR) and electrochemicel impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Oxygen entering the system accelerates corrosion rates, but this effect may not be detected if rates are already overestimated. It is concluded that electrochemical techniques can be used for corrosion reate monitoring in some H2S media, but care must be taken in the choice of scan ratre; it is important to realize when direct techniques like electrical resistance or mass loss should be used instead.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)346-358
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Film formation
    • Sulfide
    • Carbon steel
    • Corrosion rate monitoring
    • Capacitance
    • Polarization resistance


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