How To Prevent Internal Pipeline Corrosion

Prevention, Mitigation, and Detection of Pipeline Corrosion 

Without stating it directly, we all expect and need pipelines to continue to do their job invisibly – without interruption or injury to the environment and people. Prevention, mitigation, and detection of all types of corrosion must all be utilized to form a cohesive pipeline safety plan.

As part of the midstream infrastructure, our collective global dependency on pipelines has come into clarity in the recent past. Take for example, the following:

  • In 2011, the PHMSA issued a call to action, “to accelerate the repair, rehabilitation, and replacement of the highest risk pipeline infrastructure.” While much work has been done since that time, 3% of the natural gas distribution lines in the US are iron pipes.
  • Because of all the work mentioned above, 99.999997% of the gas and crude oil is moved safely through pipelines in the United States.
  • These 10 pipelines in the planning or initiation stages involving 9 countries clearly demonstrate that pipelines will continue to be an essential part of the global oil and gas supply chain. These petrochemical and oil and gas pipelines are mission critical to each of the countries and continents they will serve.

Last week we talked about preventing corrosion on pipeline externals – and pipelines that carry beer. This week we’re going to explore prevention, detection, and mitigation of a pipeline’s internal corrosion.

Pipelines Part 2 – Protecting the Inside of the Pipelines 

There are two added layers of complexity when it comes to preventing corrosion on pipeline internals. First, it’s even harder to assess for corrosion on the pipeline internals than the pipeline external surface. Additionally, any protective coating applied to the pipe internals must take into account the substance that is being transported and how to protect the pipeline from its product.

Assessing the Internals of a Pipeline 

Pipeline operators and owners have a myriad of options to assess the wall thickness and health of a pipeline. The first layer of defense is accomplished, “normally by applying a tight control on the process parameters (e.g. water dew point in gas transmission systems, injection of corrosion inhibitor).”

However, no amount of ‘tight control’ can completely abate corrosion. Therefore, pipeline managers can use a pipeline pig. The PIG accomplishes things like, “drying, cleaning, batching, product removal, and liquid displacement”.

Depending on the type of PIG, pigging can help you determine that corrosion has begun and where it is in the pipeline – but it doesn’t prevent corrosion. That’s because even pigging a line can leave water or other debris in a line. As we all know, water + carbon steel can be the open door to corrosion.

Pipe Line Foam Pig Vs. Pipeline Inspection Pig

Image extracted from (Rigzone)

Another tool from the toolbox is a drip-pot assembly which allows pipeline stakeholders to assess for:

  • “Amount of liquid in the system
  • Identification of the liquids
  • Presence of CO2, H2S, water, and acids
  • Microbial activity (via bioscreen option)
  • Corrosion rate (via weight loss coupon)
  • Presence of iron that indicates interior corrosion or erosion”

Drip Pot Assembly

Image extracted from (Sentry-Equip)

Both a pipeline pig and drip pot assembly can be appropriate, after-the-fact, corrosion identifiers for such things as microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) and hydrogen sulfide. Even better than identifying the corrosion is preventing it from ever occurring. Prevention, before corrosion even starts, is where EonCoat becomes the answer.

How Does EonCoat Provide Internal Pipeline Corrosion Protection? 

With only one application required, EonCoat’s spray-applied technology lays down two layers of patented corrosion protection. The layer of iron phosphate is next to the carbon steel – and iron phosphate never rusts. The ceramic coating reinforces the iron phosphate. This is the same technology that was found in the Iron Pillar of Delhi.

How Is EonCoat Applied Inside a Pipeline? 

As a corrosion protection method, EonCoat can be successfully applied to any pipeline that has a diameter greater than 24 inches. The current size limitation comes from needing to get the application equipment inside the pipe. While we are working on new technology to be able to protect smaller diameter pipelines, those products are not yet market-ready. Stay tuned to our social media and blog for details when we deploy that technology!

EonCoat Is Safe To Apply in Confined Spaces

EonCoat applied to the pipeline internals is safe for the environment and the applicator because EonCoat:

  • has NO VOC’s,
  • has NO HAP’s,
  • has NO Toxins,
  • has NO Odor, and
  • requires no solvents for cleaning up after the job.

Chemical Resistance Is King 

Selecting the correct protective coating for the internals of a pipeline is the first step in ensuring that your mission-critical asset has a long lifecycle. Maximizing the lifecycle of your carbon steel pipe is the first step in saving money. The less pipeline you have to replace because of corrosion, the higher the ROI for your stakeholders.

One of the top 10 questions we receive is, ‘with what chemicals does EonCoat work well?’ The current Chemical Resistance List for the EonCoat products is as follows:

  • Xylene
  • Phenol
  • Methanol
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • 25% Salt Solution
  • 37.5% Salt Solution
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Jet Fuel
  • Diesel Gasoline
  • Crude Oil

Sameer Patel, our Lead Chemist, is consistently testing different or new chemicals against EonCoat, so this list will continue to grow. Therefore, if you don’t see a particular chemical here, feel free to contact us and ask about your unique pipeline needs.

When to Use a Topcoat 

There are times when our Science Team will recommend a topcoat be applied to the EonCoat Corrosion Protection. Essentially, the EonCoat protects the carbon steel from corrosion and the topcoat protects the EonCoat. When recommending a topcoat, we consider things like pH levels, temperatures, and flow rates.

Based on the information, we might recommend durable topcoats like Epoxy Novalac, or our very own EonSpartic PolyAspartic Topcoat, for the more corrosive chemicals. Feel free to speak with us about the possible need for a topcoat in your pipeline.

How To Get Started 

If you have questions about protecting your pipeline, its contents, and its surrounding environment, feel free to click the Contact Us button below. You can tell us about your specific internal pipe corrosion needs. Someone will reach out to you within one business day to start identifying how we can help you permanently tackle corrosion.

If you want to continue learning more about EonCoat, sign up for the EonCoat Free E-Book. Your email is always safe with us, and you’ll receive one email per day for five days. The Free E-Book will put you well on your way to being a corrosion prevention expert!

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