Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Organic Chloride

Last updated: December 22, 2018

What Does Organic Chloride Mean?

An organic chloride is an organic compound containing at least one covalently bonded atom of chlorine. Their wide structural variety and divergent chemical properties lead to a broad range of names and applications.

Organic chlorides are organic molecules with a C-Cl bond, for example chloroform (CH3-Cl) or vinyl chloride(C2H3Cl). Organic chlorides can be used in production of:

  • PVC
  • Pesticides
  • Chloromethane
  • Teflon
  • Insulators

Organic chlorides can cause corrosion in pipelines, valves and condensers, and cause catalyst poisoning. The hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) and others are affected by damage caused by these substances.


Corrosionpedia Explains Organic Chloride

Organic chlorides are chloride-containing organic compounds that are generally not naturally occurring. They are extensively used in the oil field as a wax dissolver. They are generally banned on environmental grounds. Organic chlorides are generally not present in crude oils and are usually derived from cleaning operations at production sites/pipelines or tanks.

Some organic chlorides and their common uses include:

  • Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4): Chlorinated rubber manufacture, semiconductor manufacture, metal recovery
  • Tetrachloroethylene (Cl2C=CCl2): Dry Cleaning, degreasing, textile, printing, soap, paint removal
  • Vinyl chloride (C2H3Cl): Monomer for PVC
  • Chlorobenzene (C6H5Cl):Degreasers, refrigerants
  • Chloroprene (CH2=CClCH=CH2): Monomer for polychloroprene used as wire and cable cover, gaskets and automotive components
  • Dichloromethane (CH2Cl2): Paint and varnish removers (being phased out)
  • Trichloroethylene (CHCl=CCl2): Industrial cleaner, solvent in paint and glue manufacture

Organic chloride contamination in crude oil can cause hydrochloric acid formation during hydrotreating. The hydrochloric acid then corrodes equipment through accumulation, and can be particularly damaging in crude tower overhead systems. For this reason, organic chloride levels should ideally be kept below 1 ppm.

Organic chlorides can be detected through:

  • ASTM D4929 (distillation and combustion)
  • Sodium biphenyl reduction & potentiometry
  • Combustion and microcoulometry
  • X-ray fluorescence
  • Ion chromatography

The current analytical methods of determining organic chloride content, ASTM D4929 – 07 are complicated and time-consuming procedures, that must be carried out by a specialist in a laboratory setting.


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