Corrosion

Topics: Electrochemistry, Oxygen, Corrosion Pages: 9 (2876 words) Published: September 30, 2013
Chemistry assignment

Introduction:
Throughout modern day society metals are constantly used, in fact mankind has been heavily dependent on metals for the last several hundred years. But the science behind metals has only been discovered in recent years and has now become known to people that we simply could not live without them. Metals make up around 80% of the elements (currently discovered). They are used in everyday items that society depends on, such as: cars, re-bars for building, window frames, kettles, fridges and many more things. These are the most basic uses of metals, but the need for metals also enters a chemical level, they are massively important in chemistry. The aim of this report is to determine what the best prevention method of corrosion will be in the ships in two different conditions; cold, deep water and warm, shallow water. It will also analyse these prevention costs and justify which prevention method would be the best (environmentally and financially) or if it is simply better to allow the ships to fully corrode and clean up the spill afterwards; so basically prevention or cure?

This report can be quite limited in the sense that it is simply based on research, there is no physical evidence from the authors own experiments to support the claims. It is all simply based on the research of similar previous scenarios, and runs on the basis that these ships will corrode in the same ways the ships in this investigation will.

Once this investigation is complete, this report will then be able to advice people as to which kind of approach should be taken to solving this problem of the sunken ships. This could potentially lead to helping governments or companies as to how they should react to this environmental problem, ideally saving the environment from damage.

Metals are catalyst and speed up chemically reactions, scientists use metals for this purpose frequently to experiment with things at an accelerated rate. Metals allow things to have colour. There would be no batteries or electricity as currents are formed by the difference of reactivity between two metals.

The requirement for metals is not just on the basis of things that people want to make their lives easier through; cars, technology, electricity and other things people indulge in. Metals are also needed in the physiological sense as well, because basically without metals living organisms would not exist. No iron means no haemoglobin which means oxygen isn't moving round your body. No calcium means no bones. No life would even be possible as we know it without metals, without magnesium there is no photosynthesis, no trapping of the sun's energy and therefore no food chain and no life.

But with having these lifesaving metals, there comes a price. Metals also need to be looked after the same way that they look after us. Metals are constantly under a natural threat called corrosion. ‘Corrosion is the gradual destruction of material, usually metals, by chemical reaction with its environment. In the most common use of the word, this means electrochemical oxidation of metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen.’ (Asato, 2011) Corrosion has been a problem even since the early days of using metals, it is costly and time consuming to deal with. Given time corrosion can cause a horrendous amount of damage, if left unnoticed corrosion can eat through any amount of metal. This assignment basically focuses on the chemistry of corrosion, the main type of corrosion under focus being the corrosion of iron, forming the substance commonly known as rust. The idea of this study is to develop a way in which ships that were sunk in WW2 containing oil can be neutralized from ever possibly releasing oil into the ocean. The study will focus mainly on the differences between corrosion in warm shallow water and deep cold water.

Discussion:

Metal corrosion is the oxidation of metals. Oxidation is defined as ‘complete or partial loss of...
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