Chelating Agent

Reviewed by Raghvendra GopalCheckmark
Last updated: March 30, 2023

What Does Chelating Agent Mean?

A chelating agent is a chemical compound that can form stable complexes, called chelates, with metal ions by coordinating with them through multiple sites. Chelating agents are often used in industrial processes, such as metal cleaning, water treatment and medical applications.

Chelating agents are very useful for various applications in the upstream oil and gas industry, including acidizing, scale removal, filter cake removal, wettability alteration, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and hydraulic fracturing treatments.


Corrosionpedia Explains Chelating Agent

Chelating agents have a wide range of applications in industry, particularly in the areas of metal cleaning and water treatment. One of the key properties of chelating agents is their ability to bind with metal ions and remove them from solution. This property is used in many industrial processes, such as the cleaning of metal surfaces, the treatment of metal wastewater, and the prevention of scale formation in water treatment systems.

Chelating agents are also used in the medical field, where they can be used to treat certain types of poisoning, such as heavy metal poisoning. Chelating agents work by binding with the metal ions in the body, which can then be excreted through urine.

One of the most common chelating agents is ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), which forms stable chelates with a wide range of metal ions. EDTA is widely used in the food and beverage industry as a sequestrant, which is a compound that can bind with metal ions and prevent them from reacting with other compounds in the food or beverage. EDTA is also used in the textile industry to remove metal ions from dye baths and in the pulp and paper industry to prevent the formation of scale in boilers and other equipment.

Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) and GLDA can help remove various scales, such as carbonate, sulfate and sulfides, without releasing hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and using corrosion inhibitors. DTPA, EDTA and GLDA are very active in dissolving filter cake layers formed by different drilling fluids.

Other chelating agents include:

  • Nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA).
  • Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA).
  • Triethylenetetraminehexaacetic acid (TTHA).

Chelating agents are used in a variety of industrial applications, such as treating metal wastewater, preventing scale formation in water treatment systems and cleaning metal surfaces.





Sequestering Agent

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