Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rice research center takes aim at corrosion

Rice University has established a National Corrosion Center where researchers will develop better technology for preventing corrosion, particularly as it affects the oil and gas industry.
Rice will collaborate with NACE International, an association of more than 20,000 scientists, engineers and technicians worldwide involved in virtually every industry and aspect of corrosion prevention and control.

“Anything made with steel corrodes, so our system of highways and bridges, our pipelines for transporting water, oil and gas, our buildings, our aviation and transportation industries are all at risk,” said Emil Peña, executive director of the new center and also of Rice’s Energy and Environmental Systems Institute.

“We will focus on corrosion prevention and mitigation technologies that not only have the potential to improve the reliability and safety of just about everything made of steel, but also can save billions of dollars in repairs and rebuilding. This research even has biomedical implications.”

A 2001 study by the Federal Highway Administration found that corrosion costs the oil and gas industry $13.4 billion a year, while the overall cost to U.S. industry is about $276 billion.
With Rice’s expertise in nanotechnology, Peña is optimistic about developing so-called nanocoatings that can keep water away from steel surfaces.

The center is seeking government and private corporate funding.

Source: Houston Business Journal

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