Synergistic inhibitory effects of free nitrous acid and imidazoline derivative on metal corrosion in a simulated water injection system

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Original languageEnglish
Article number116122
Journal / PublicationWater Research
Online published3 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


To maintain the integrity of the internal surfaces of the pipelines in oil and gas industry, chemicals, including corrosion inhibitors and biocides, are commonly dosed to prevent corrosion. Imidazoline and its derivatives are widely used corrosion inhibitors for the protection of oil pipelines, which have been shown effective in reducing general corrosion. As an effective biocide, free nitrous acid (FNA) is suitable to inhibit microbially influenced corrosion, induced by for example sulfate-reducing bacteria. In this paper, we hypothesize that the continuous addition of imidazoline and intermittent dosing of FNA, when used in combination, would yield effective control of both general and pitting corrosions. As a typical imidazoline derivative, N-b-hydroxyethyl oleyl imidazoline (HEI-17) was applied in conjunction with intermittent dosing of FNA in the experimental system, with the results compared with two control systems, one receiving HEI-17 only, and one receiving no chemical dosing. The corrosion properties were monitored with open circuit potential, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, linear polarization resistance, 3D optical profiling, and weight-loss measurement. Following a single dose of FNA, the general corrosion rates in the experimental reactor dropped up to 50% of that in the reactor receiving continuous HEI-17 dosing (0.27 ± 0.04 vs. 0.54 ± 0.08 mm/y), but gradually recovered to 93.4% of that in 2.5 months. After the FNA treatment, the pitting corrosion was decreased by 64.6% compared with continuous HEI-17 dosing reactor for a month from measuring the cumulative distribution of the pitting depth. HEI-17 treatment alone showed moderate pitting corrosion inhibition effect (approx. 27%), and the FNA treatment inhibited the formation of deep pits effectively. The combined application of HEI-17 and FNA has shown synergistic effects and high efficiency in mitigating MIC in the simulated water injection system. This treatment strategy has strong potential to be applied in the practical oilfield operations. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Corrosion inhibition, Free nitrous acid, Imidazoline derivative, Microbially influenced corrosion, Pitting corrosion, Sulfate-reducing bacteria