Probe for measuring the corrosion rate wins Grand Prix INTARG®2022 | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2022-05-23

Probe for measuring the corrosion rate wins Grand Prix INTARG®2022

Grand Prix
The invention of scientists from Gdańsk Tech under the supervision of prof. Kazimierz Darowicki - probe for measuring the corrosion rate was awarded at the 15th International Fair of Inventions and Innovations INTARG®2022. It was awarded a platinum medal for the most valuable invention in the industrial sector. Moreover, the invention received the highest award - the Grand Prix among all submitted inventions.  

The INTARG International Invention and Innovation Fair is a cyclical event devoted to the presentation of the potential and achievements of technological thought and science, i.e. inventions, technologies and targeted services in thirteen fields, including industry. INTARG® exhibitors have the opportunity to submit the presented inventions and innovations (technologies, products and services) to the INTARG® competition, under which they are assessed by an international jury. The main criteria for assessing the presented solutions are: the level of innovation, market demand for a given product, comparison with global counterparts, the TRL - level of technical readiness, the possibility of implementation and commercialization, economic and social effects, etc.

The invention "Probe for measuring the corrosion rate" was created as a result of the KORMON project acquired by Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A. (Polish Oil Company) as part of the INNOCHEM program. The invention was submitted by PKN ORLEN S.A. The probe was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from Gdańsk University of Technology under the supervision of prof. Kazimierz Darowicki, composed of: Juliusz Orlikowski, PhD, DSc, Eng., Grzegorz Lentka, PhD, DSc, Eng., Mateusz Cieślik, MSc, Andrzej Dul, Eng. The team was supplemented by employees of the PKN ORLEN concern, Iwona Łuksa, MSc and Radoslaw Gospoś, MSc.

More effective corrosion monitoring

The innovative integrated system of dual corrosion sensors enables simultaneous monitoring of the uniform corrosion rate and steel hydration in real time (on-line). The solution is based on the resistivity technique, which is used to monitor the rate of corrosion of metals / alloys in various environments, including the oils & gas sector. In a resistometric device available on the market, a special sensor is placed in the analyzed process stream, e.g. in a pipeline or apparatus, where it corrodes over time. The rate of corrosion by reducing the cross-section of the probe is proportional to the increase in its electrical resistance, which is continuously measured through the measuring module outside the pipeline / apparatus. The corrosion rate is calculated from the change in electrical resistance in real time.

 Commercial devices based on the resistometric technique do not make it possible to distinguish between the phenomenon of uniform corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement - explains Prof. Kazimierz Darowicki   Our invention consists of a system of double sensors: the main sensor and the reference sensor. The main sensor is susceptible to uniform corrosion and hydrogenation, the reference sensor is only susceptible to hydrogenation and at the same time resistant to corrosion. The distinction between the phenomena is crucial due to the completely different approach to the risks associated with different corrosion mechanisms and therefore different actions taken by refinery employees.

The use of a dual corrosion system operating in real time makes it possible to visualize the current situation in terms of uniform corrosion and hydration. Plant operators can control and immediately react to the current threat of increased corrosion through appropriate remedial actions, e.g. adjusting process parameters or increasing the doses of anti-corrosion agents.

  Real-time monitoring of the corrosion and hydrogenation rate of steel enables the prediction of the longevity of structural materials and greatly reduces the likelihood of emergencies that result in an unplanned shutdown of an industrial plant due to corrosion or hydrogen embrittlement. The entire wireless corrosion monitoring system based on dual corrosion sensors has been implemented in the PKN ORLEN FKK II catalytic cracking installation. Currently, the implementation of the corrosion monitoring system in two further installations is being prepared.

The integrated system of dual corrosion sensors has proved to be a very effective tool for assessing the current corrosion situation, for monitoring the condition of construction materials and for appropriate preparation during the processing of various feeds, including incompatible crude oil mixtures. Monitoring has also turned out to be an excellent tool to determine the dependence of the corrosion and hydration rate on process parameters and other factors, to prepare reports in the field of corrosion protection and to support specialist corrosion analyzes. The corrosion monitoring systems currently under construction are part of a larger project, which is the creation of a corrosion management system at PKN ORLEN as part of RBI activities.

   It should be mentioned that the cooperation between the Department of Electrochemistry, Corrosion and Materials Science and the PKN ORLEN concern has a long tradition and an extremely fruitful history. As part of this cooperation, over 40 research works and expert opinions were carried out. In 2022, PKN ORLEN decided to submit the invention " Probe for measuring the corrosion rate" to the innovation fair. Thanks to its high international reputation, the INTARG® fair has been supported by the highest-ranking institutions, including the Ministry of Development and Technology and the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO - one of the 16 UN agencies (INTARG® is the only fair in Poland and one of a few in the world held under the honorary patronage of WIPO).

272 inventions from 13 fields were submitted to the competition. The awards were presented during the final gala of the 15th Jubilee Edition of the International Trade Fair for Inventions and Innovations INTARG® 2022, which took place on 12 May.