Synergistic corrosion inhibition of mild steel in aqueous chloride solutions by an imidazolinium carboxylate salt

Alison Chong, James Mardel, Douglas Macfarlane, Maria Forsyth, Anthony Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Mild steel infrastructure is constantly under corrosive attack in most environmental and industrial conditions. There is an ongoing search for environmentally friendly, highly effective inhibitor compounds that can provide a protective action in situations ranging from the marine environment to oil and gas pipelines. In this work an organic salt comprising a protic imidazolinium cation and a 4-hydroxycinnamate anion has been shown to produce a synergistic corrosion inhibition effect for mild steel in 0.01 M NaCl aqueous solutions under acidic, neutral, and basic conditions; an important and unusual phenomenon for one compound to support inhibition across a range of pH conditions. Significantly, the individual components of this compound do not inhibit as effectively at equivalent concentrations, particularly at pH 2. Immersion studies show the efficacy of these inhibitors in stifling corrosion as observed from optical, SEM, and profilometry experiments. The mechanism of inhibition appears to be dominated by anodic behavior where dissolution of the steel, and in particular the pitting process, is stifled. FTIR spectroscopy provides confirmation of a protective interfacial layer, with the observation of interactions between the steel surface and 4-hydroxycinnamate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1746-1755
Number of pages10
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2016


  • Acidic
  • Corrosion inhibitor
  • FTIR
  • Mild steel
  • Organic salt
  • Pitting

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