Oxygen Scavenger

Definition - What does Oxygen Scavenger mean?

An oxygen scavenger is a chemical substance that is used to reduce or completely remove oxygen in fluids and enclosed spaces to prevent oxygen-induced corrosion. It is also known as an oxygen absorber. It is used as a corrosion inhibitor in oil and gas production installations, packaging, production separation and seawater injection systems. Oxygen scavengers increase the shelf life or service life of the components under protection. Oxygen scavengers are categorized as organic or inorganic. They are applied in various ways, depending on:

  • The amount of oxygen to be removed
  • The expense commitment
  • Characteristics and field conditions
  • Ability to passivate metallic surface

Corrosionpedia explains Oxygen Scavenger

An oxygen scavenger is a corrosion-inhibiting substance that is added in small amounts to an environment that is prone to oxygen-based corrosion. Its cathodic nature enables it to combine with oxygen and form harmless compounds-salts. This process eventually reduces the corrosion rate in the systems under protection.

The oxygen scavengers are formed from:

  • Metal (iron) sulfites and bisulfite ions
  • Homogenous blends of reactive substances and polymers
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Ascorbate salts or catechol
  • Photosensitive dye
  • Antioxidants
  • UV light activation
  • Aerobic microorganisms and enzymes

The oxygen scavenger has had numerous accounts of patents, especially in the food and packaging industries. They are designed on the basis of the nature of the substance to be protected against corrosion, the desired shelf life, and the corrosion activity. These corrosion inhibitors are designed to satisfy the following requirements:

  • They should be harmless to humans
  • They should absorb a large amount of oxygen at an appropriate rate
  • They should not produce toxic substances that might increase the rate of corrosion
  • They should be efficient and compact in size or amount
  • It should be able to with stand extreme pressures and temperatures

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