Development Of Novel Photoanodes With Charge Storage Capabilities For Photoelectrochemical Cathodic Protection Of Steel For Oil And Gas Corrosion

Project: Research

Project Details


Corrosion of metals is a major concern for industries worldwide. Among the different corrosion prevention approaches, cathodic protection (sacrificial anode and impressed current methods) is extensively employed for the protection of metallic based assets in oil and gas sectors. Cathodic protection impedes corrosion by altering the active (anodic) sites on the metallic structure to passive (cathodic) sites by providing electrical current. A recent approach in this area is photoelectrochemical cathodic protection that utilizes renewable energy (solar energy) to generate electricity using a semiconductor photoelectrode (photoanode). On illumination, electrons in a semiconductor can be excited to conduction band yielding holes in valence band. The electrons produced can be used for protecting a metallic structure by altering the metal potential cathodically (to more negative values) than the potential at which corrosion occurs. The photoanode does not get used up during the operation and is environmentally friendly. The method is economic as it does not consume electrical energy or waste anode material. The technique can be worthy for Saudi Arabian oil and gas pipelines in distant areas where power supplies are limited. A major issue in terms of commercialization of the technique is the absence of photoelectrochemical response of the photoanode in dark. The proposed project aims to develop novel photoanodes having ample energy (photoelectron) storage capacities in addition to the photoelectrochemical cathodic protection. The idea is to store surplus energy in the photoelectrode during day time so that it can be used at night. The work will be systematically performed by adopting the following steps: (1) Fabrication of novel photoanodes (doped titanium dioxide; doping helps to overcome the inherent disadvantages of titanium dioxide photoanodes, for example less visible ligt absorption), (2) Fabrication of novel nanocomposite photoanodes with extended charge storage capabilities (doped TiO2 energy storage material nanocomposite; transition metal oxides/nitrides possessing pseudocapacitance and/or graphene will be utilized as energy storing material), (3) Characterization of the fabricated electrodes for phase and microstrure, (4) Optical absorption studies, (5) Electrochemical studies, and (6) Photoelectrochemical cathodic protection studies. The results of the study is expected to be beneficial for corrosion protection of metallic structures in oil and gas sectors.
Effective start/end date1/09/181/08/19


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