Sensor Technologies



Optimize Inhibitor Use in Pipelines:

The Challenge

Liquid petroleum pipelines carrying high sulfur content products are at risk for internal corrosion. Other factors, including wax build-up, bacterial growth and the presence of water, may increase the risk of corrosion. Typically, once corrosion is identified by inline inspection ( ILI) in these pipelines, mitigation schemes are employed. One solution is to inject inhibitors into the flow. Although the injection may be effective at reducing or halting corrosion, without a means to track corrosion growth in real time, the results are generally unknown until the next ILI. In addition, there is no way to determine if the right amount of inhibitor has been used to be effective. Both of these concerns are significant because the cost of the inhibitors is very high and additional labor is required to undertake an injection program.

Can a cost-effective sensor system be utilized to provide real-time monitoring of the effectiveness of inhibitor injections? Can such a system be used in a hostile environment and provide reliable data over a wide range of operational conditions? Can this system save on inhibitor costs and minimize the risk of premature pipe failure?

The Solution

FOX-TEK offers an engineered solution. FT sensors are installed on pipelines, generally in regions where severe corrosion/erosion are known to occur. Such installations are accomplished with low added cost when completed during excavations for corrosion inspection. Sensor configurations are available for monitoring areas 100 m or more in length, or for localized areas as small as 8 cm diameter. FOX-TEK software determines the wall thinning rate from sensor data collected with an FTI-series monitor. Sensor readings taken before, during, and after inhibitor injections show the effectiveness of the quantities and type of inhibitor used. Real-time continuous monitoring or on-site periodic monitoring are options available to the user. Following completion of the injection, the FOX-TEK software is configurable with pre-set wall thickness threshold values that, when reached, activate an e-mail alarm signal that is sent to various personnel.

Summary of Benefits

  • Longer, safer operational lifetime of corroded pipelines
  • Reduced operational downtimes
  • Establish effectiveness of inhibitors
  Cost Savings
  • Maintenance schedules based on real-time operational status of pipe
  • Reduced risk of pipe failure and clean-up costs
  • Alarm signals when pipe wall thickness has reached threshold value
  • Reduced risk to personnel due to premature pipe failure
  • Sensors are non-electrical and immune to EMI
  • Reduced risk of pipe failure
  • Reduced risk of contamination of environment by product spills