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Researchers: Crab-Shell Compound Fights Corrosion

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

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In a recently published paper, scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi, say a component of crab and shrimp shells could hold the key to corrosion inhibition without the use of heavy metals and other chemicals that have raised environmental and health concerns.


Researchers say a chitosan-based anticorrosion material both a green anti-corrosion solution and a way to repurpose shellfish shell materials that would generally be thrown away.

In the paper, published in ChemistrySelect, lead authors Vandana Srivastava and Mumtaz A. Quraishi and their team of researchers look at the potential for chitosan—a sugar derived from shellfish exoskeletons and some fungi—to guard mild steel against corrosion.

Film-Forming Compound

As part of their research, the IIT BHU team crosslinked chitosan with polyethylene glycol, another nontoxic chemical used in everything from pharmaceuticals to polyurethanes, creating what they refer to as CS-PEG. The CS-PEG was dispersed in a hydrochloric acid solution and mild steel was submerged in the solution for six hours.

The CS-PEG reportedly formed a film on the surface of the steel, protecting it from the corrosion the acid solution brought on. At a concentration of 200 milligrams per liter—the strongest concentration tested—the CS-PEG inhibited corrosion at rate of 93.9 percent, according to the paper. The corrosion rate was measured via weight loss, electrochemical measurements, surface morphology and quantum mechanical investigation.

Quraishi told The Hindu the anti-corrosion treatment created a smooth surface on the steel substrate and could prove to be both a green anti-corrosion solution and a way to repurpose shellfish shell materials that would generally be thrown away.

“The shells of the shrimps are usually discarded as waste,” Quraishi told the publication, “and if we can use them and develop such eco-friendly products it will be a good way to convert waste material to a useful application.”


Tagged categories: Coating Materials; Coatings Technology; Colleges and Universities; Corrosion inhibitors; Corrosion protection; Research and development

Comment from Bruce Crichton, (9/8/2018, 11:53 AM)

As a former resident of Maryland, and still a fan of the famous crabs there, I applaud the recycling and productive anti-corrosive uses contemplated for my favorite shellfish. I also love Mayport shrimp in my Florida residence...

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