Sulfuric Acid Corrosion

Last update: Jan 13, 2017

Sulphuric Acid Corrosion is an acidic environment "disease" commonly occurring in sulfuric acid alkylation units where process control or water contents of acids deviate from design operation. As with HFA alkylation units, sulfuric acid carryover into equipment and piping systems that were not constructed to resist sulfuric acid at certain concentrations and temperatures can lead to higher corrosion rates. Reactor effluent lines, reboilers, deisobutanizer overheads, caustiv treating systems, and flare lines are particularly vulnerable. However, with rigid control of acid concentration, fluid velocity, temperature and the avoidance of acid carryover, sulfuric acid alkylation units can be operated reliably with high integrity.

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September/October 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Unlike NAC where we’re still on a learning curve, the knowledge of corrosion by sulfuric acid has not changed much in the last quarter century, and there are many good references for it included in API RP 571.

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