Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Total Carbon

Last updated: May 22, 2014

What Does Total Carbon Mean?

Total carbon is the level of carbon present in organic compounds. It is typically used as a non-specific gauge of water quality as well as the purity of manufacturing equipment in the pharmaceutical industry.

It may also refer to the quantity of organic carbon existing in petroleum rock sources as well as deep oceans.


Corrosionpedia Explains Total Carbon

A common analysis for total organic carbon measures both inorganic and total carbon. The inorganic carbon (IC) represents the content of carbonic acid salts and carbon dioxide in dissolved form. Removing the IC from total carbon generates total organic carbon (TOC). Certain types of analysis are meant to prevent the corrosive effects of certain carbon levels in the water, environment and industries, specifically in the pharmaceutical field.

Different techniques in analysis to gauge the quality of water throughout the process of purification have been in existence since the 1970s. The total organic carbon in source waters can come from organic matters as well as other synthetic sources like urea, herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides as well as detergents.

In the pharmaceutical industry, the addition of organic matter to the water systems takes place not only from decaying matter and living organisms, but from the distribution system and purification as well. There may be a relationship that exists between microbial growth and bio-film growth and the development on the pipeline walls in the distribution systems of the pharmaceutical industries.

Maintaining low levels of total carbons and microbe levels could help prevent corrosive effects and the growth and development of bio-films. Thus, the performance of the distribution systems and purifications field in the industries should be monitored thoroughly.


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