The role of iron in sulfide induced corrosion of sewer concrete

Jiang, Guangming, Wightman, Elaine, Donose, Bogdan C., Yuan, Zhiguo, Bond, Philip L. and Keller, Jurg (2014) The role of iron in sulfide induced corrosion of sewer concrete. Water Research, 49 166-174. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2013.11.007

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Author Jiang, Guangming
Wightman, Elaine
Donose, Bogdan C.
Yuan, Zhiguo
Bond, Philip L.
Keller, Jurg
Title The role of iron in sulfide induced corrosion of sewer concrete
Journal name Water Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0043-1354
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2013.11.007
Volume 49
Start page 166
End page 174
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher I W A Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• H2S exposure chambers were used to simulate real sewer corrosion.
• Mineral liberation analysis quantified minerals in corrosion layer and concrete.
• Corrosion progresses uniformly with gypsum/ettringite as main corrosion products.
• Iron rust instead of sulfur compounds is related to micro-cracking in concrete.
• A conceptual model is established to account for all corrosion processes.

The sulfide-induced corrosion of concrete sewer is a widespread and expensive problem for water utilities worldwide. Fundamental knowledge of the initiation and propagation of sewer corrosion, especially the interactions between chemical reactions and physical structure changes, is still largely unknown. Advanced mineral analytical techniques were applied to identify the distribution of corrosion products and the micro-cracking that developed along the corrosion boundary. It was found that sewer concrete corrosion caused by reactions with sulfuric acid progressed uniformly in the cement of concrete. In contrast to conventional knowledge, iron crust rather than gypsum and ettringite was likely the factor responsible for cracking ahead of the corrosion front. The analysis also allowed quantitative determination of the major corrosion products, i.e., gypsum and ettringite, with the latter found closer to the corrosion front. The conceptual model based on these findings clearly demonstrated the complex interactions among different chemical reactions, diffusion, and micro-structure changes.
Keyword Sewer
Hydrogen sulfide
Mineral liberation analysis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 18 November 2013.

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Created: Tue, 19 Nov 2013, 21:08:42 EST by Karen Holtham on behalf of Advanced Water Management Centre