The corrosion behaviour of nitrogen-containing austenitic stainless steel in methanol containing different concentrations of H2SO4, HCl, LiCl and H2SO4 + HCl has been investigated using a potentiostatic polarization method. The cathodic reaction in the H2SO4, HCl and H2SO4 + HCl solutions was proton reduction whereas in the neutral LiCl solution, oxygen reduction was the predominant cathodic reaction. Active, passive and transpassive behaviours were observed only for higher concentrations of H2SO4 (0.01–2.0 M) due to the inherent water content. A cathodic loop, characterized by measured negative current in the anodic region, was also observed in solutions, in which the concentration of H2SO4 was 1.0 M or higher. The relative stability of the passive films decreased as the H2SO4 concentration increased, and thus the steel suffered from mild pitting corrosion. In the chloride environment, the rate of corrosion increased as the Cl− ion concentration increased. The presence of acid along with Cl− ions enhanced corrosion, and the corrosion rate increased significantly. The steel suffered from mild intergranular corrosion in acidic chloride solutions of methanol. In the H2SO4 + HCl solutions, passive films were only formed when the H2SO4 to HCl concentration ratio was greater than ∼10:1.
LiCl Passive Film Corrosion Current Density H2SO4 Solution Anodic Polarization Curve
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Financial assistance for this work from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India is gratefully acknowledged.