Why Buy Crap?

 

Writer:  Ron Knight

Have you had the experience of watching something that triggered a whole line of new thought?  I watched a short video clip recently that only lasted a few minutes.  After thoroughly discussing the video with others I found myself seeing events in a way that I had never considered.

There were six photographers and one subject in the video. One at a time each of the photographers interviewed and took photos of the subject.   When this was completed each of the photographers were asked to select one of their photos that best represented the subject and hang it in the room.  The subject was a tall, slightly heavy man that was bald and quite ordinary looking.  When he was asked to look at the six photos taken by the photographers he exclaimed “I know these are photos of me BUT they look like pictures of six different men.

And now the rest of the story……

During the interviews the subject told each of the photographers a different story.  He told one that he was a convicted felon.  He told another that he was an alcoholic, the third that he was a fisherman and so on.  Each one was told a completely different “life story” prior to them taking their photos.

The subject did not change clothes but the photographer who heard the “millionaire” story had the subject comb his hair, button and tuck in his shirt.  The photographer that was given the story of the “convict” told the subject to leave his shirt unbuttoned and untucked.   When the video showed the six photos selected by each photographer they indeed looked like six different men, possibly brothers but definitely different men.

The photographers had never met or even seen the subject before the day of the interview.  Based on what they had been told, each photographer based his photos on a PERCEIVED idea of what a millionaire, a convict or a fisherman should look like.  They selected their photo that best described their perceived idea of what these “men” represented. We are all guilty of judging people on our pre-conceived ideas.

I also know that we select products and services based on perceived ideas put into our heads from very slick marketing, packaging and advertising campaigns.  I also believe we select what products to buy based, not on fact, but based on what someone has told us.  In a lot of cases, what we perceive as facts is not even close!

The market for corrosion inhibitors is just under $3 billion per year.  There are hundreds if not thousands of corrosion inhibitors on the market and a very few of them actually work as advertised.  The vast majority of these products claim to prevent corrosion by displacing water.  Everything placed in water displaces water.  A form of moisture (water) is needed for most corrosion to occur and displacing water has absolutely nothing to do with being hydrophobic (drives off water).  Displacing water has no effect on corrosion reduction.  One popular product is a mixture of paint thinner and wheel bearing grease.  Another is mineral spirits and kerosene and yet another popular product is a mixture of mineral spirits, kerosene and petroleum jelly.  Kerosene is not bad penetrating oil (but why not just buy plain kerosene; it’s less expensive and will give you the same results; but where/what is the corrosion inhibitors in these products?  One product “self-ignites” at 120 degrees!  I would not suggest that you leave it in the trunk of your car!  Most of these products say they are lubricants, yet other than the paraffin in the kerosene they do not contain any lubricants.  My personal favorite (product) has an ingredient in it that carries a warning stating that the ingredient’s vapor is explosive so do not turn any electrical equipment on or off when the vapors are present or an explosion may occur.  One company whose product is highly flammable pays for an ad to “pop-up” if you search for a non-flammable corrosion inhibitor.  The ad does not say that the product is non-flammable, it just pops-up along with its low price.  This is called pay per click.  Every time someone clicks on the flammable product, the company pays an advertising fee.

ALL products formulated by Corrosion Protection & Solutions are non-flammable.  They ALL contain corrosion preventative compounds that are specifically selected for both the metals to be protected and the environment.  ALL solvent based products are hydrophobic and they actually drive off moisture not just push it aside.

Here is what not to do:  Buy anything because advertising says that it works or because it has nice packaging or just because the price APPEARS to be less than the other products.

Here is what to do: Before you buy any product ask someone exactly why it works.  Will it work in your application?  What is in the product?  Ask for a SDS (*Safety Data Sheet) and look at the CAS numbers and go online and see what you are actually buying.  Does it actually contain a lubricant or corrosion preventative compound, is the product flammable and dangerous to use?  Is there a possibility of an explosion if an electrical contact turns on or off?

The bottom line is do not believe what advertising tells you.  Do your due diligence.  Our product for instance may seem to be more expensive; however, it actually works! and will last 3 to 5 times longer than anything on the market!

For more information please visit www.corrosionpro.com or www.lektrotech.com.  You can

Also reach us at 813-831-4006.  If you have questions, just ask!

 

*The SDS sheets were developed so the information matches on a global basis.  They include comprehensive information about the substance or mixture of chemicals in the workplace and pictograms that can be identified worldwide.

NOTE:  The warnings on the SDS are more intense (see Windex) and are based on thousands of hours of continuous use.  Please call us if you have any concerns.  We may suggest a different formula if used in production.

 

 

 

 

Pay attention to your gas mileage!

Writer:  Ron Knight (Chemist)

I used to live near a convenience store that is owned by a friend of mine and I bought most of my gasoline there.  My Ford F-150 got 19+ mile per gallon in town and my wife’s Subaru got around 30 miles per gallon.

We moved a few weeks ago.  There is a convenience store that is 2 miles from my new home and 2 miles from my office so I started getting gas there.  After a couple of weeks of buying their gas, I noticed that neither vehicle was getting as many miles per tank of gasoline as they were when I used gasoline from my friends store so I checked the fuel mileage.  My F-150 was getting 16.3 mpg and the Subaru was getting about 26.5 mph.  These numbers represent a mpg decrease of 14.2% for the F-150 and a 11.7% decrease for the Subaru.

I took a 1.25-gallon container to the store and bought a gallon of their regular gas.  I brought the gasoline back to my lab and ran a simple 30-minute test on the fuel and the results were so far off of what I expected that I was not sure what I had purchased.  I started over and run a more complex series of tests.

After 2.5 hours this is what I found:  Even though the dispenser has a “sticker” on it saying that the fuel may contain up to 10% ethanol, the fuel that I analyzed contained 12% ethanol.  After I removed the ethanol, only gasoline remained.  When I analyzed this gasoline it was “Grade C” gasoline with no additives.  (Did you know that there are 3 grades of regular gasoline?  Grades A, B, and C).  I ran the same tests on my friend’s regular gasoline and it was Grade A and contained 5% ethanol.

If I drive 12,000/ year in my F-150 consider this:  I would use about 632 gallons of my friend’s fuel and 736 gallons of the new store’s fuel.  That is a difference of 104 gallons of gas per year (or about $200/year).  As long as my friend’s fuel was no more than $0.32 higher than the new convenient store’s gas price, I would save money!  How many times have you seen the price of regular gas vary $0.32 per gallon?  I have also read several articles that state that unless it is a “flex fuel” engine, any quantities of ethanol greater than 10% is detrimental to the life of the engine.

Why not paint over rusty steel?

 

Writer:  Ron Knight (Chemist)

The very simple answer is that it just won’t work.  Understanding why it won’t work is a little more complicated.

Both steel and rust (iron oxide) are compounds of the element iron (Fe).  Steel is made from Fe and a variety of other elements including carbon, manganese and/or nickel. Iron oxide is the result of the reaction of iron and oxygen, therefore, both iron and steel will produce iron oxide when exposed to water and oxygen.

The term “density” refers to the physical weight of a specific volume of material.  Density is usually listed in grams per cubic centimeter.  The density of iron is 7.874, steel is 7.60 and that of rust is 5.242 (all in grams per cubic centimeter).  Please note that steel is less dense than iron and iron oxide is less dense than steel.  Keeping in mind that the volume (container size) remains constant and that all of the elements added to iron are less dense than iron, the new compounds (steel and/or iron oxide) have to be less dense than the iron alone.  The reason that steel in only 3.5% less dense than iron while iron oxide is 45% less dense than steel is that iron oxide is basically steel plus absorbed oxygen and the oxygen has very little weight.

Now comes the tricky part.  In nature absolute confined spaces do not exist so when all of the additional elements are added to a fixed amount of iron the volume of the compound has to increase (rust takes up more than three times the volume of the of the original iron). The result of this increase in volume can have several results.  If the layer of rust is not covered with a coating such as paint, the rust will create flakes of rust and when these flakes get large enough they will fall off (exfoliate) and the result will be a decrease in metal (usually thickness) and the strength of the metal will be reduced.  If the layer of rust is covered with a coating (especially a hard coating) such as paint, the metal will continue to rust and grow in volume.  This continued growth under the coating will cause the coating (paint) to blister and flake off and the corrosion of the metal will continue as before it was painted.  Painting over the rust creates another (and avoidable) problem.  The paint will have to be removed prior to treating the rusty metal surface. The paint will have to be removed by wire brushing and/or particle blasting which will create an added expense of labor for the cleanup and disposal.

Stain Less Steel

 

Writer:  Ron Knight (Chemist)

Stain Less Steel

(is it really?)

What is stainless steel?  Stainless steel is a family of iron-based alloys that must contain at least 10.5% chromium.  The addition of chromium makes the material “passive” by creating a thin chromium oxide film on the surface of the steel that resists corrosion.  This protective film is strong and chemically stable under aerobic conditions, which provide oxygen to the material surface, however if the stainless steel is exposed to an anaerobic process the passive film can be broken down and corrosion will occur.

There are a variety of stainless steel alloys that contain other elements including nickel or molybdenum.  The reason for the variety of stainless alloys is that there are countless different applications and all forms of stainless steel should be considered.  Stainless steels can be divided into the following three classes:  austenitic, martensitic and  ferritic.

Austenitic stainless steels have higher amounts of chromium and nickel than the other types.  These steels offer a higher degree of corrosion resistance but they are not hardenable by heat treatment and have lower tensile strengths.  Some of the more common austenitic series include:  302, 304, 310, 316 and 317.

Martensitic stainless steels can be hardened by heat treatment and therefore have a higher tensile strength than austenitic stainless steels but are not as resistant to corrosion.  Some of the more common martensitic series is:  410, 416 and 17-4PH.  The alloy 17-4PH has a variety of ingredients in it that gives this stainless steel the corrosion resistance of 304 and high strength.

Ferritic stainless steels have 12% to 18% chromium but have less that 0.2% carbon.  These stainless steels are magnetic, non-hardenable by heat treatment and should not be used situations of high corrosion.  A common ferritic series is 430.

For many applications, the problems of corrosion can be severe and the selection of the appropriate metal will make the difference of a long service life and an early (and sometimes catastrophic) failure.  I am going to address one problem;  galvanic corrosion.

Galvanic Corrosion:  Corrosion is an electro-chemical action in which one metal is changed into another form.  All metals have electrical potential and when two different metals are in contact with each other in the presence of an electrolyte, electrons will flow via the electrolyte from the more active metal to the more inert metal.  This flow of electrons will continue as long as the active metal and electrolyte exist.  The electrical potential is different for each metal so if two dis-similar metals are in contact with each other, electrons will flow and corrosion will exist.  Please note Table I

TABLE I

Active

Magnesium

Zinc

Aluminum 1100

Cadmium

Aluminum 2024-T4

304 Stainless (active)

316 Stainless (active)

Steel and Cast Iron

Lead

Tin

Nickel (active)

Inconel (active)

Hastelloy Alloy C

Brasses

Copper

Bronzes

Copper-nickel alloys

Monel

Nickel (passive)

Inconel (passive)

304 Stainless (passive)

316 Stainless (passive)

Hastelloy Alloy C (passive)

Silver

Titanium

Graphite

Gold

Platinum

Inert

This table is easy to use.

The electrons will flow from the metals on the top of the list to the metals on the bottom and the farther apart the two metals are on the list the slower the rate of corrosion.

For example, Zinc and Steel will corrode faster than Zinc and Copper

If a passive 304 bolt is used to connect an aluminum plate with a brass plate both the aluminum and brass will corrode but the aluminum side in contact with the 304 will corrode faster than the brass and 304  side.

One of the first steps in correct material selection is to make an attempt to select fastener materials, which are compatible with the structure being joined .  It can make a dramatic difference in the life of either the fastener and/or the base material if the incorrect fastener is selected.

Table II

table-2

A brief explanation of Table II

If an austenitic fastener (304) is used in a piece of zinc and/or galvanized steel the corrosion rate of the base metal (zinc or galvanized steel) will corrode at an accelerated rate as compared to using a “like metal” zinc and galvanized steel fastener.  Notice what happens if you use an aluminum screw in anything but aluminum.  The base metal does not corrode but the fastener will corrode at an accelerated rate.  If you are trying to fasten an aluminum frame to something, you should use a zinc galvanized steel screw (or aluminum) screw because it will last longer than brass or stainless steel and the screw will be less expensive than the stainless steel screw.  This selection can be confirmed by looking at table I.  Zinc, aluminum and steel are located (on this chart) closer together than aluminum and 304 passive stainless.

Point

Just using stainless steel does not guarantee to improve corrosion resistance.  In addition to being expensive, stainless steel is less ductile than carbon steel, and does not have the tensile strength of carbon steel.  Most stainless steels are not as hard as carbon steel and, therefore, will not be as resistant to abrasion.

Just like clothes, one size does not fit all.  Look at the environment, application and service life desired and make good knowledgeable choices in materials selection.

Diesel Cost…Wonder Why It’s so Expensive?

 

Writer:  Ron Knight (Chemist)

I recently returned from a trip to France and Germany and I rented a car in both countries.  I rented an Opel SUV in France and a BMW SUV in Germany and both of the cars had diesel engines (55% of European vehicles are diesel).  I am always curious to know what kind of gas mileage a car gets so I recorded how may liters of fuel the cars used and how many kilometers that I drove.  Changing the liters to gallons and the kilometers to miles I found that the Opel averaged 48 miles per gallon and the BMW averaged 52 miles per gallon.  I drove almost 1600 miles.

 

Interesting Points:

 

According to www.fueleconomy.gov the average mileage for cars in America was 23.6 miles per gallon in 2013, which was up from an average of 22.4 miles per gallon in 2011.

Looking around on the Internet I found that a VW TDI Jetta gets around 45 MPG in America and 65 MPG in Europe.  I wonder why?  Some people claim that it is the way the fuel economy is calculated but who really knows?  I do know the fuel mileage on the two cars that I rented because I did the calculations.

 

All fuels are more expensive in Europe than in America.  Diesel fuel in America seems to be $0.50 to $0.60 more per gallon than gasoline.  In Germany diesel was 1.25 euros per liter ($7.72 per gallon) and regular “petrol” (our gasoline) was 1.37 euros per liter ($9.27 per gallon).  Putting this on a percentage basis, diesel in America is 20 to 22% higher than gasoline while in Europe diesel is 17% less expensive that European petrol.  Wonder why?  Do you suppose that it is because freight carriers can pass on their fuel costs in the form of fuel surcharges and ultimately don’t pay for increased fuel costs! Why would they really care what they pay for diesel?

 

 

 

 

My thoughts on Ethanol in Fuels

 

Writer:  Ron Knight (Chemist)

In the third quarter of 2012 I was asked for a solution for the very aggressive corrosion that was taking place in the sumps of underground fuel storage tanks. After about 2 years of study, observations and the treatment of 50+ sumps, I have arrived at the following conclusions. Hopefully you will find the following interesting enough to do your own research and form your own educated opinion.

If you research ethanol on the internet, you will find anything that you want to read. One group says how good it is to use ethanol and another group says how bad it is. My suggestion is to look at the author of the article. The “good side” seems to be from corn producers, the Renewable Fuels Association and others that benefit from ethanol sales. While oil producers show up on the “bad side” list so do a lot of equipment manufacturers and motor producers. You may want to take a look at an (old) article written by Mr. Ed Wallace for Bloomberg Business Week. The title is “The Great Ethanol Scam”.

FACT:
Back when you actually had a choice of buying gasoline with or without ethanol, I drove a VW Passat about 5000 miles with 100% gasoline and 5000 miles with the standard 90/10 blend. The mileage with the 10% ethanol was 12% less than with 100% gasoline. I drove a Ford F150 about the same number of miles and the mileage with 10% ethanol declined 15%. I drove a Chrysler van 3000 miles and the mileage declined 17%. Using my F150 as the example, let’s look at what means. My F150 got 22 mpg with 100% gasoline and 18.7mpg with the 90/10 blend. If I drove 10000 miles with 100% gas, I would have used (10000/22) 455 gallon of gasoline. Driving 10000 miles at 18.7 mpg, I used (10000/18.7) 535 gallon of the blended fuel. Remember out of the 535 gallon of blended fuel (90/10) only 90% is gasoline. If you take 90% of 535 gallon that means that I used 481.5 of 100% gasoline. The point here is that instead of saving petroleum, I actually used 26.5 gallons MORE than I would have used without the ethanol.

INTERESTING NOTE:
The website www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/ethanol states: “Vehicles will typically go 3% to 4% fewer miles per gallon on E10 and 4% to 5% fewer on E15 than on 100% gasoline”. HOWEVER, two paragraphs after that statement it also states: “MPG. Due to ethanol’s lower energy content, FFV’s (flex fuel vehicles) operating on E85 gets roughly 15% to 25% fewer miles per gallon than when operating on regular gasoline, which typically contains about 10% ethanol.” From my experience (as noted above) the second statement is closer to the truth than the 4% to 5% statement.

If you “look around” on the fuel economy website, you will find a section that compares the mileage of cars using 90/10 fuel and what mileage that you can expect if that car uses the 85/15 blend. I randomly selected a 6 cylinder, automatic 2014 Chevrolet Impala. According to the website the combined mileage using the 90/10 fuel is 22 mpg with an average annual cost of fuel at $2350 while the combined mileage using the 85/15 blend is 16mpg with an average annual cost of fuel at $3200. If the annual number of miles driven were 15,000 the car using the 90/10 blend would use (15000/22) 682 gallons while the car using the 85/15 blend would use (15000/16) 937 gallons. Since the 90/10 blend contains 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol the actual gallons of gasoline used would be (682 x .9) 614 gallons of 100% gasoline. The 85/15 fuel contains 85% gasoline and 15% ethanol so the actual gallons of gasoline used would be (937 x .85) 796 gallons. In this case the car using the 85/15 blend will use 30% more gasoline. So much for the rationalization that the reason to add ethanol to gasoline is so that less fuel (and imported oil) will be used.

FACT:
Most ethanol is produced from corn. The average calendar year cash corn price/bushel received from Iowa farmers was:
Year Price/bushel
2000 $1.78
2005 1.90
2010 3.86
2013 6.22
FACT:
In 2000 less than 5% of the US corn crop was used to produce ethanol. In 2013 that number jumped to 40%.

FACT:
On January 2004 the average price of a pound of bacon was $3.16; June 2014 is was $6.11

FACT:
In 2000 the average cost of Layer (chicken) feed cost was $125/ton
In March of 2013 (the latest figures I could find) the average cost of the same feed was $324/ton
This is an increase of 259%

NOTE:
The “standard” diet for chickens is: 67% corn, 22% soybean meal, 8% limestone and 3% other

FACT:
The US Chicken Wholesale Price (Georgia Dock) in USD/kg was 1.922 in June 30, 2010 to 2.444 on June 30, 2014. That is a 27.2 % increase in the wholesale price.

The Earth Institute-Columbia University stated:
“The amount of water it takes to produce ethanol varies according to how much irrigation is needed for the corn, particularly since row crop agriculture for corn is the most water consuming stage of ethanol production. In Ohio, because of its sufficient rainfall, only 1% of the corn is irrigated while in Nebraska 72% of the crop is irrigated. It takes 19 gallons of water to produce a bushel of corn in Region 5, 38 gallons in Region 6 and 865 gallons in Region 7. The Baker Institute estimates that producing the corn to meet the ethanol mandate for 2015 will require 2.9 trillion gallons of water.” The average person in the US uses about 32850 gallon/year so it would take (2.9 trillion/32850) 88.3 million people to use that much water in one year. That is the entire populations of: California, Texas, New York and Arizona added together.

Located in the last paragraph on page 8 in Oil Express Volume 37, Issue number 33 dated August 25, 2014 Kristy Moore, vice president of technical services for the Renewable Fuels Association was quoted as saying (referring to a NIST study on the effects of ethanol on corrosion in the sumps of UST’s), “the conditions of the NIST research ‘could not occur in the marketplace today.’ Moore pointed out that ethanol has been ‘successfully blended, distributed, stored and dispensed at retail fuel stations for decades with no equipment corrosion issues’.”

The State of Tennessee, Division of Underground Storage Tanks has done extensive research on “Ethanol Related Corrosion in Submersible Turbine Pump Sumps”. There is a study of a March 2011 ASTSWMO Meeting available online. If there was any doubt that the addition of ethanol to gasoline had a dramatic and adverse effect on the sump components, this study will remove all those doubts. On page 3 there is a photograph of a non-ethanol gasoline sump that is 11 years old. There is minimal corrosion. On page 4 there is a 4 June 2008 photograph of an E-10 ethanol sump that looks new. To the right of that is a 1 November 2010 photograph of the same sump that shows severe corrosion. On page 5 is a 9 March 2010 photograph of a new premium sump and to its right is a photograph of the same sump dated 25 August 2010 (169 days later) showing severe corrosion. The report also includes a study showing the effects of sump vapors on a wire(s) that was in a sump(s) for 68 days. The percent (by weight) of wire loss went from a low of 0.43% to a high of 16.8%. This means that up to 17% of the actual wire “corroded away” in only 68 days. One wire “disappeared” in only 13 days. Page 21 of the report states: “A link exists between ethanol in motor fuels and the corrosion of metals in the sumps of an underground storage tank.”

There is a section of copper tubing connected to the leak detector. The first time that I looked into a sump I ask the station owner, “What does that piece of blue wire do?” As it turns out the blue wire was actually the copper tubing that was covered with copper acetate which is a form of corrosion. When copper corrodes it is subject to pitting corrosion. As the name indicates pitting corrosion creates pits that will continue to grow both larger in diameter and deeper into the (in this case) copper. The leak detector works by taking a small amount of fuel and putting it under pressure. If the pressure does not drop, the fuel sample is returned to the storage tank via this copper tube and the fuel dispenser turns on. If there is a hole in the tubing the sample of fuel can leak into the sump instead of returning to the storage tank. Working with a strength of materials handbook, I calculated that the ultimate strength of copper tubing is reduced by 15% of there was a pit 0.005 inches in diameter. I “Googled” diameter of a human hair and depending on the hair color the answers I received was from 0.001 to 0.004 inches. It would not take a very large pit for the tube to rupture.

A public release on 1 October 2013 by NACE International entitled, “Solving ethanol’s corrosion problem may help speed the biofuel to market” states “One of the most important concerns with regard to the integrity of pipelines and tanks is the propensity of ethanol at concentrations above 20 volume percent in gasoline to cause cracking of steel, explains Narasi Sridhar, vice president, director of the materials program at Det Norske Veritas. This phenomenon is called stress corrosion cracking.” Please note that the study states at concentrations above 20 percent not the 10 or 15 percent that is currently under consideration.

I have worked with the effects of corrosion for 25+ years and I have been formulating corrosion preventative compounds for 11 years. I have never experienced the rapid onset of severe corrosion as I have observed in the sumps of underground storage tanks that are exposed to ethanol.

The above 2 pictures are not unusual. The top picture shows the copper acetate on the copper tubing, the large flakes or tubercles seen on the other components is concentrated cell corrosion. This type of corrosion often occurs where the surface is exposed to an electrolytic environment (i.e. acid). The second picture shows a new pump next to a two year old pump. I have looked at 50-60 sumps and treated about 25. I have at least 50 pictures that look like the above two.

I started formulating a product to solve the problem almost 2 years ago. After a number of attempts I decided that there is not a product that will prevent this severe corrosion. There are a number of problems that cause the sump corrosion and it takes several products to solve it. I have developed a 4 step process where each of the four steps solves a specific problem. Un-treated sumps are corroding in 4 months and so far we have passed 7 months without corrosion.

At this point we know that:
1. Ethanol decreases gas mileage
2. The corn used in ethanol production takes away from human consumption
3. The corn prices have increased over 300% since 2005
4. As a result of higher corn prices, chicken feed has increased 259%. The price of chicken has risen 27%
5. Bacon prices have risen 193%
6. Corn/ethanol production uses vast amounts of fresh water
7. Corn requires a large amount of nitrogen, which can lead to runoff/water pollution.
8. Ethanol/gasoline blended fuels shorted sump equipment life from 10/11 years to 2 years.
9. Ethanol at concentration above 20% can lead to stress cracks in pipes/pipelines.

I have heard people say, “If ethanol really does all of the above, why is it used?” Why is the government promoting E10 and now E15 Flex Fuels”?

AND NOW THE REST OF THE STORY

Follow the money!

The federal government collects an excise tax of $0.184 PER GALLON and the last time the tax was increased was 1993. In addition to the federal tax, state and local governments collect additional gasoline taxes and they are also PER GALLON. The average US total tax is about $0.50 per gallon with California being the highest at a total of $0.713 per gallon and the lowest being South Carolina at $0.352. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has stated, “Although vehicles will travel more miles in the future (therefore consuming more taxable fuel), rising fuel efficiency standards and congressional refusal to increase the fuel tax means that the fund receives less money.”

I live in Florida and lets take the 2014 Chevrolet Impala that was used in the above example and that I drove 15,000 miles/year:

From my actual driving experience the least drop in mileage using the 90/10 blend instead of 100% gasoline was 12%. If 100% gasoline was used in the Impala the mph would be approximately 25mpg.

Fuel MPG Gallons of fuel used Gallon of gasoline used

100% gas 25 600 600

90/10 22 682 614

85/15 16 937 796

Fuel Fed tax (.184) Florida/local tax (.36) Total tax

100% $110.40 $216.00 $326.40

90/10 $112.98 $221.04 $334.02

85/15 $146.46 $286.56 $433.02

Consider the following:
Corn ethanol production uses unbelievable amounts of water. The prices of corn and related foods that use corn have increased dramatically. The effects of ethanol and ethanol vapors has reduced the life of fuel tanks and related equipment by as much as 80%. There are probable environmental concerns with fertilizer runoff. The newer vehicles get much better fuel mileage. Fuel tax revenues are down and money from the general fund are being used to build/repair highways and congress will not pass legislation for an increased federal tax on gases.

IS THERE A CHANCE THAT MAKING THE USE OF ETHANOL AN INGREDIENT IN GASOLINE A PLOY TO COLLECT MORE REVENUE!?!

Preventing Corrosion: What product(s) to buy

 

Writer:  Ron Knight (Chemist)

Corrosion, rust, oxidation or whatever you want to call it has been around since the beginning of time. If you have been to Georgia, Oklahoma or any of a number of states and have asked yourself why the soil is red? The answer is iron oxides (rust).. Iron oxides occur when iron, oxygen and water combine and the resulting color of this mixture is red/orange.

Since man started to use iron, rust has been and will always be a problem. Over the millennium, man has tried to control rust by the use of corrosion preventative compounds. Some of the earliest attempts were the use of animal fats and coal/oil tars. These attempts worked better than nothing and the reason that they worked was they provided a barrier to keep water away from the metal. Over the years as technology improved these “barrier” products improved. One of the best-known products is Cosmoline. Cosmoline is a mixture of waxy long chain hydrocarbons not too unsimilar to the old “tar” products. While Cosmoline is best known for its use in WW II to protect about anything metal, it is thought that the ancient Egyptians used a product amazing similar in their mummification process.

It has been a long time since WWII and now there are a LOT of products on the market.   New ingredients become available daily. Corrosion preventative products that were “state of the art” a few years ago may not be the best product on the market today. The question is what should I use and the best answer can be found through research. Steps to consider when choosing the best product for your application/situation should include:

Type of metal to be protected

Iron/steel, aluminum, copper etc

Environment

Acid fumes, saltwater spray etc.

Hot/cold, wet (humid)/dry

Temperature extremes

Dusty

How long protection should last

Long term, short term (shipping)

Solvent base desired

Water, oil or solvent

Type of coating/film

Hard, soft, flexible, self-healing

There are some terms that you will find that may be confusing. A lot of products on the market will use the term “water displacing”. Boats displace water. A floating object will displace (push aside) a fluid whose weight is equal to the weight of the floating object. Displacing water does not mean that the water is removed. The term to look for is hydrophobic. There are several definitions for hydrophobic and they include: lacking affinity for water; tending to repel and not absorb water; tending not to dissolve in, mix with or be wetted by water. For corrosion preventative compound to drive off water it must be a hydrophobic.

Look for the specific gravity (S.G.) of a product. Water has a S.G. of 1.0; simply put if something has a S.G. less than 1.0 it will float and if it has a S.G. greater than 1.0 it will sink. The vast majority of products that are on the market have a specific gravity 0.8/0.9; there are even some products that have a S.G. less than 0.7. Question—how does the product get under and drive off water if it floats on water? Try to find a product that sinks under existing water (has a S.G. greater than 1.0).

When you find a product or are currently using a product, go online and get the MSDS for the product. The MSDS will give you the S.G. and it will also list some of the ingredients. Following the name of the ingredients there will be a CAS number. If you “Google” CAS number xxxxx-xx-x, it will give you the specifications of that CAS number. See what ingredients are in the product. There are products that say they are (or contain) lubricants but no lubricants are listed on the ingredient sheets. One product has a lubricant listed but the product is essentially wheel bearing grease and mineral spirits. This may have been acceptable in the past but not today.

One year I made four presentations on corrosion preventative compounds. Some of the people in attendance were at all four presentations and ask the same questions. The real answer to selecting a product that will work the best for your situation is: do the research; buy the product AND USE IT!! Nothing works if you leave it in the can.

Next time: A discussion on contact angles of liquids

The Oxidation of Aluminum

Writer:  Ron Knight (Chemist)

Aluminum being the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust (at 8.2% of the total metals) is never found free in nature. Aluminum is reactive and will react spontaneously with water and/or air to form aluminum oxide. Aluminum oxide, Al2O3, forms a stable passive layer that protects aluminum from corrosion or further oxidation. This layer is about 4 nm thick and will provide corrosion protection as long as this oxide layer is stable.

Aluminum is an amphoteric metal and can react with an acid as well as a base. The protective layer of aluminum oxide will deteriorate in environments with high or low pH or even in environments where aggressive ions are present. The result is that the oxide layer is only stable in a pH range of 7.0 to 9.0. Below 7 or above 9 the rate of corrosion increases at an increasing rate.
Among the most aggressive of ions is chlorine. When the layer of aluminum oxide comes in contact with the chlorine, it becomes unstable and a reaction develops, releasing hydrogen gas and producing dialuminum hexachloride. The AlCl3 hydrolyses in water and forms an acid mist that breaks down the protective layer. The most typical results are: formation of corrosion pits, crevice corrosion, inter-granular corrosion and galvanic corrosion. As this process continues the corrosion creates stress raisers and ultimately stress cracks and metal fatigue and failure.

Corrosion Zero-AL is a water-based product formulated by Corrosion Protection & Solutions. Corrosion Zero-AL protects aluminum two ways. Its corrosion preventative compounds stabilize the aluminum oxide making it less reactive and at the same time depositing a polymer barrier to protect the metal surface from outside contaminates including air and water. This film is dry to the touch and will not trap dust and blowing dirt. It can be applied by brushing, rolling or dipping and there is no special equipment or skills required to apply Corrosion Zero-AL.

Corrosion Control

Writer:  Ron Knight (Chemist)

Control is best word to use.  Corrosion is the natural process that returns materials back to their natural state.  With the exception of gold, metals such as aluminum, steel (and its various alloys), copper do not naturally exist in a usable form.  Man has learned how to process various ores and oxides into a form that they desire.  Corrosion or sometimes oxidation is simply the reversal of these processes and in time “refined” metals will return to their natural unprocessed state.

Corrosion Protection & Solutions business model is to determine the cause of what we call corrosion and develop a product and/or process to greatly slow down the natural process.  We do not believe that “one size fits all” so by careful examination and experience, we tailor a specific solution to specific corrosion problems.  Over the years we have been ask to find a solution for a problem that we had already solved.  The result is that we have a “basket” of solutions/products so we do not have to reinvent the wheel with every inquiry.   We have products that, as far as I know, are unique to us.

In our basket of products you will find products that convert iron oxides (rust) to an inert compound, thereby, elimination the existing rust.  You will find products that work only on copper, only on aluminum on steel and/or iron.  We make all of the products in bulk and when the products are needed in the aerosol form, we send the bulk product to a contract packaging company where they put in aerosol cans.  Our products can be applied by brushing, dipping, spraying or even by wipes.  We make/provide lubricants, corrosion preventative compounds (cpc) and even lubricants containing cps’s.  We make products using solvents as a base or water as a base and even products that are applied without being diluted.  One thing that makes CP&S unique is that we do NOT make flammable products.  When we formulate our products we take into consideration the:  environment, specific gravity, molecular size and how long the protection needs to last.  See the videos on our Corrosion Zero page for more evidence.

Corrosion Protection for Lead Acid Battery Systems – a new solution for a 154-year-old problem

Writer:  Ron Knight (Chemist)

Objective:

To provide long-term corrosion protection for the external metal parts of the rechargeable lead acid battery electrical system.  The external battery case contains a number of cells, each containing electrodes of lead and lead oxide with sulfuric acid as the electrolyte.  (The internal corrosion known as a softening and shedding of lead off the plates cannot be avoided because the shedding is a natural phenomenon caused by the reaction of the electrodes with the sulfuric acid.)

Background:

The lead acid battery is the oldest but is still the most widely used rechargeable electric storage device.  The lead acid battery was invented in 1859 by Gaston Plante and remained unchanged until Camile Alphonse Faure improved it in 1881.  The next notable improvement came in the 1970’s with the introduction of the valve regulated (sealed) gel electrolyte battery.  The lead acid battery is simple, relatively inexpensive and portable but the other metallic parts of the system are subject to corrosion due to the chemical reaction of those parts with the acid, acid vapors and hydrogen that are produced during the recharging process.

System Ingredients/Materials

In addition to the lead, lead oxide, sulfuric acid and battery case that make-up the actual battery most if not all of the following are found in the recharging system:  copper, aluminum, zinc, a variety of connector plating materials and steel.

Identifying the Problem

Upon inspection of the recharge system, it is probable that the effects of corrosion will be present.  Aluminum connectors corrode to aluminum sulfate, which is a white crystalline/granule; zinc corrodes to a white powder and copper corrodes  leaving blue/white crystals.  Copper and Iron reacts to produce iron sulfate (a green or blue greenpowder) and/or a brown-yellow coating, which is ferric sulfate.  If a white powder is found on the lead positive battery terminal, it is because the terminal is a lead/zinc alloy.  The above sulfates are a result of :  over-filling the battery with either water or electrolyte (thermal expansion of the liquid will force some of the liquid out of the battery vents onto the top of the battery causing a chemical reaction with the other materials); the electrolyte can weep from the plastic-to-lead seal in the battery case; if the battery is overcharged, sulfuric acid fumes will vaporize through the vent caps and react with the other metals.

Understanding the Problem

All atoms are comprised of a nucleus and 1 (in the case of hydrogen) or more electrons orbiting the nucleus and the total number of electrons in an atom constitute the elements’ atomic number.  There are one or more “levels” of orbits and these are called valence shells and each shell has a maximum number of electrons that can occupy a given shell. The number of valence electrons of an element determines its periodic table grouping.  There are 18 groups (vertical columns) and groups 3-12 are classified as “transition metals”.  It can be stated that a transition metal is an element whose atom has an incomplete valence shell(s) in its atomic structure” and the number of electrons in an atom’s outermost valence shell governs its bonding behavior.  An atom with only one or two valence electrons in its outer-most shell is highly reactive, because the extra electrons are easily removed to form a positive ion.  Iron (atomic number 26), Copper (atomic number 29) and Zinc (atomic number 30) are all highly reactive transition metals.  Aluminum (atomic number 13) is in group 13 has 3 electrons in its outer shell is still reactive but not as reactive as the other three elements.  Pure lead is considered a stable element but the addition of zinc makes the lead battery terminal less stable.  Equilibrium is the natural state of matter.  In order to gain equilibrium elements attach (bond) with each other until the outermost valence shell is complete (i.e. a closed shell).  That is why the most active elements (such as sodium) are never found in its “pure” state.

Chemical reactions in which atoms are lost or gain are called “redox” reactions.  These reactions can be simple or complex but in all cases involve the transfer of electrons.  If electrons are lost the oxidation number increases and  it is called an oxidation process.  If electrons are gained, the oxidation number decreases and it is a reduction process.  A visual way of determining the type of reaction is by the color of the resulting material.  Red is associated with oxidizing conditions while green and white are typically associated with reducing conditions.

The reaction of sulfuric acid on metal depends on a number of factors:  the metal, the concentration of the acid and temperature.  Dilute sulfuric acid (like that found in lead-acid batteries) will react with any metal by displacing hydrogen from the acid.  The result

is H2 + the sulfate of the metal (as noted above with the various colored powders and crystals).

Metal + H2SO4  yields  H2 + Metal sulfide

The understanding of the problem is that most elements are not found in nature in the “pure” state.  Over time the elements bond with other elements and/or compounds to achieve the natural state of equilibrium.  Through a variety of manufacturing process man has taken these compounds out of equilibrium and into an unnatural pure unstable state.

As reasons and causes for corrosion were understood, it was found that there were a number of causes and forms of corrosion.  The end result is the same but the causes were much more complex than previously thought.  The forms of corrosion now include:

Forms of Corrosion

Uniform

Galvanic

Concentration Cell

Pitting

Crevice

Filiform

Intergranular

Stress

Corrosion Fatigue

Fretting

Erosion

Dealloying

Hydrogen damage

Corrosion in Concrete

Microbial

To make matters even worse, most of the time corrosion is caused by several of the above with the ultimate result being failure of the part or piece of equipment.

Historical Solutions

The discovery of iron predates 5000 BC and the oxidation of iron, commonly called rusting, has been a problem since man first used iron (even the bible mentions rust 8 times, Matthew 6:19-21 says that “rust destroys—“).  Throughout time a variety of solutions have been tried.  Iron items have been made thicker and heavier so they would last longer.  At some point someone noticed that water had an adverse effect on iron so a light oil was used to help keep moisture away from the iron.  It was found that animal fat (lard) was more effective than oil because it could be put on thicker and last longer.  In the early to mid 20th century cosmoline was applied as a rust preventive.  cosmoline is a mixture of oily and waxy long-chain non-polar hydrocarbons and proved to be an effective coating for equipment on long sea voyages during WWII.  The problem with cosmoline was that once the volatile hydrocarbons evaporated, the solid wax that was deposited was extremely difficult to remove.

In the early to mid 1950’s new improved versions of cosmoline type products were introduced as corrosion preventative compounds (CPC’s).  The generic name for the major ingredient is “slack wax”.  Slack wax is a soft, oily crude wax obtained from the pressing of petroleum paraffin distillate or wax distillate containing 2-35% oil.  Slack wax is easier to remove than cosmoline but it still is a preventative barrier helping to keep oxygen and water from the treated area.  Neither cosmoline nor slack wax products remove or drive-off moisture that is already on or in the treatment area.  They trap the moisture under the coating allowing the trapped moisture to start/continue the corrosion process.  Another concern for the slack wax type of products is that as the waxy barrier heats up, they soften and can sag because they remain in place by gravity or by the slight vacuum (similar to what holds paint on a wall) that occurs when it is applied.  Any sagging or drooping can create a gap allowing moisture and other contaminates into the protected area.

Probably the first time that corrosion prevention compounds were looked at closely was in 1987 when a flameout of an Air Force F-16 nearly resulted in a crash.  It was found that the flameout was due to corrosion in the aircraft’s fuel control valve.  The Department of Defense contracted with Battelle of Columbus, Ohio to find out exactly why the fuel control valve was malfunctioning and to provide a solution.  Battelle worked with Bell Labs and the AFRL to identify the problem.  In August 1996 Battelle submitted their final report for this contract.  Battelle’s findings were that the failure was due to fretting corrosion on the tin plated pins in the main fuel shutoff valve.  Battelle preformed extensive testing on 12 lubricants/corrosion preventative compounds and found 10 of the CPC’s failed (six of the formulations were found to actually accelerate corrosion) and two of the products passed.  One of the products that passed was Super Corr (now known as Super Corr A) and it assigned to military specification MIL-L-87177A.  Super Corr and the other product were then subjected to extensive flight tests on F-16 aircraft.  The final report on phase two testing was submitted by Battelle in March 1999.  The summary of the report was that 150 aircraft at 9 bases were involved in the study and that “gold-plated connectors without any protection can corrode rapidly and that the best lubricants/corrosion preventative compounds can totally inhibit corrosion.  It was also determined that the money spent on the lubricants/corrosion preventative compounds equates to $1000 in savings for each $1.00 spent on corrosion preventative compounds.

Changing Technology

As time passes both the understanding of the causes of corrosion and the materials/ingredients available to combat corrosion improve.  Because of environmental concerns the carrier solvent in Super Corr has been changed twice (for a total of 3 different solvents) and each time Battelle tested and re-approved Super Corr.  Each time Battelle not only tested the newest version against other corrosion preventative compounds, they tested it against previous versions of Super Corr. In the most recent testing (completed October 2010) the newest version of Super Corr A outperformed the previous version, which had outperformed the original version.

Providing the most effective CPC possible is a constantly changing process.  The current solvent was chosen from 20 different solvents. The original ingredient for extended salt spray performance has been replaced with a newer ingredient that is 2.5 times as effective against salt.  Neither the solvent(s) nor the new corrosion preventative compound was available in earlier versions of Super Corr.  Science and technology allows us to outperform even the earlier versions of Super Corr.

21st Century Solutions for Lead Acid Recharging Systems

The development of Corrosion Zero is based on the past experiences and lessons learned from the ongoing improvement of Super Corr A.  For example:  Because of need to prevent fretting corrosion in vibrating in “mobile” recharging systems and closer manufacturing tolerances (in electrical connectors), the lubricant used in Corrosion Zero is from the same family as the lubricant in Super Corr a but is 40% of the molecular size.  Because of new availability, the ingredient to protect against salt (the newer ingredient in Super Corr A) has been replaced with an ingredient that is 5 times as effective as the one in Super Corr A.  The solvent in Corrosion Zero was selected because it is also non-flammable, is a heavy hydrophobic to displace water and is a very good cleaner/degreaser.  These are the minor changes.  The most noticeable change from past CPC’s is that because we now have a much better understanding of the problems associated with the chemically active electrical charging systems components, we have included ingredients that bond with the “outer shell active electrons” thus making the core electrons more chemically inert (non-reactive).  The final addition to Corrosion Zero is a newer ingredient that has proven to be very effective against acid vapors.

Corrosion Zero is an engineered product that addresses and solves all currently known problems with lead-acid batteries and the recharging system components.

Corrosion Protection and Solutions in 2013

Combating corrosion is a dynamic and ongoing process.  Products that were best available yesterday may not be the best available tomorrow.  Realizing “one size” does not fit all, CP&S is constantly looking for new and better ingredients to improve and develop current and future products.  Microbial influenced corrosion has recently been recognized as a problem on aircraft.  Since last July, Battelle has been testing a version of Super Corr A containing a biocide that will stop or at least slow down the corrosion effects due to the presence of microbes on aircraft.  The results look very promising.  A private company has ongoing testing on a new CP&S product that is showing to be very effective on copper in a hydrogen sulfide environment.  The research has been funded to test a new CPC for aluminum in both solvent and water bases.  In the 4th quarter of 2012, CP&S started work on a line of corrosion preventive compounds that will contain nanotubes and also a line of products that will purposely vaporize with the vapors filling and protecting otherwise unreachable voids.  Samples of both of the new product lines will be available for testing in 2013.