A researcher with the University of Akron’s pioneering corrosion engineering program has been awarded more than $1 million to help study and assess Mexico’s pipeline corrosion issues.
University of Akron
|Dr. Homero Castaneda-Lopez will work with University of Akron students and researchers from other organizations on the project, which was awarded $4 million in all.|
Dr. Homero Castaneda-Lopez, a faculty member with UA’s year-old program, will join researchers from other institutions in the United States and Mexico in the effort, which is designed to help Mexico take a proactive technology approach to pipeline corrosion prevention and mitigation.
40,000 Miles of Pipeline
The country currently has nearly 40,000 miles of underground pipelines, and thousands of miles more are slated for construction over the next few years.
Comprised of researchers from Battelle, the National University of Mexico (UNAM), Corrosion and Protection Engineering (CPI),Technology Center from Campeche (ITESCAM) and the Research Center for Electrochemistry(CIDETEQ), the team will develop lab simulations for exposure conditions faced by Mexico’s pipelines.
They will then develop applicable technology solutions for field applications.
$4M Research Project
In all, the institutions were awarded nearly $4 million from the National Council of Science and Technology-Mexico (CONACyT) for the research project.
Much of the work will be performed in the National Center for Education and Research in Corrosion and Materials Performance laboratories at the research engineering building now under construction on UA’s campus.
|In November, Mexican President Felipe Calderón outlined a natural-gas strategy that involves building nearly 4,500 km (nearly 2,800 miles) of natural gas pipelines over the next few years.|
Other engineering faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students will assist in the project.
Corrosion’s Breeding Ground
Replete with moisture, ionic species, chemical elements and other corrosion contributors, “Mexico has a lot of ecosystems, environments and precursors for corrosion and is working to bridge the gap between science and technology,” says Castaneda-Lopez.
Advances in corrosion engineering can help do just that, he adds.
“What we see in the lab can be applicable in the field, where steel pipelines that carry millions of gallons of gas, crude oil and petroleum products face consistent, time-dependent, aggressive environmental threats,” says Castaneda-Lopez.
UA developed the nation’s first-ever Corrosion Engineering Program in 2010, along with the first undergraduate degree in Corrosion Engineering and Reliability. The university also announced the research center at that time.
In March, the university announced that it would partner with MesoCoat Inc. on an emissions-reducing metal coating for infrastructure.
Dr. George K. Haritos, dean of the UA College of Engineering, says the pipeline research award “highlights CONACyT’s high regard for Prof. Castaneda-Lopez’ abilities and creates an important platform for even broader strategic collaboration in the future between UA faculty and Mexico’s science and technology research funding agencies.”
It also, he adds, “provides an exciting opportunity to field-test corrosion management approaches developed in the UA National Center.”