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Sensors for Corrosion Monitoring in Harsh Environments

National Energy Technology Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Research is active on the development of sensors for use in early detection and quantification of corrosion degradation. This invention is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.


Monitoring of corrosion in harsh environments—including pipelines,wellbores and wells, geological formations, and underwater/subsurfaceoffshore reservesis important for a range of fossil energy relatedapplications. These applications include unconventional, deep, and ultra-deep oil and natural gas resource recovery through drilling andhydraulic fracturing techniques; environmental monitoring inreservoirs for CO2 storage; and transmission and delivery of natural gasthrough the existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Subsurfaceconditions are challenging environments for development anddeployment of sensing technologies due to a combination of extreme temperatures and/or pressures, as well as the presence of potentialhigh salinity and chemically corrosive substances.

Traditional technologies, such as electrochemical-based sensors, are not suitable for use in environments with intense pressures, temperatures and corrosive potential. Moreover, conventional sensors often fail due to instabilities associated with packaging, wires, and interconnects. Additionally, current sensing approaches are not ideally suited for widearea monitoring due to the need for a direct electrical connection atthe sensing location. New sensing approaches that permit monitoringover wide areas are critically needed.

The sensing methods under development eliminate these concerns while offering safety advantages and compatibility with scalable semiconductor-based manufacturing techniques. Additionally, these advanced sensor platforms that are capable of wireless and distributed early corrosion detection. Deployment of sensors using this technology will allow for embedded, real-time, remote corrosion sensing capabilities in extreme subsurface environments.


· High stability sensor devices allow for corrosion monitoring in harsh environments at high temperature and high pressure

· Allows for remote, wireless early onset corrosion monitoring over a wide distribution area

· Potential for multi-parameter functionality (e.g., corrosion, temperature, pressure)

· Compatible with scalable semiconductor-based manufacture techniques

Applications and Industries

· Corrosion monitoring for a wide range of critical infrastructure including: natural gas pipelines, electricity transmission and distribution networks, oil and natural gas wells and wellbores, water pipelines, bridges, and buildings

· Corrosion monitoring in harsh environments such as turbines, gas combustion chambers, nuclear reactors, and boilers

More Information

U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/265,796 filed December 15, 2015

Inventors: Paul Ohodnicki and Malgorzata Ziomek-Moroz

Technology Status
Development StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

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