SULCOR - Securing corrosion free conditions

In the next 5-10 years stricter regulations on the pollution from ships are coming into force. A consequence is that the ship engines and in particular the operation of these will be changed.

One of the major challenges in this context is to prevent "cold corrosion" in the engines, which has proven to be a bigger problem when “slow-steaming” (i.e. sailing at reduced speeds).

"Cold corrosion" is a mixture of acid attack and mechanical wear in the engine that occurs because the sulfuric acid to a greater extent condenses on the cylinder walls in the engines at conditions of slow-steaming. Expensive lube oil with limestone is continuously added to the cylinders to neutralize the acid generated, but the efficiency of this procedure is not always optimal.

In this project, SULCOR, DTU and MAN Diesel & Turbo has teamed up with international universities in a challenging work to understand and articulate the mechanisms underlying the formation and condensation of sulfuric acid in the engines, in order to show ways to avoid the problems.

The purpose of the project is to develop a mathematical model which describes surface corrosion mechanisms in the system. This includes corrosion from eg. SO2, SO3, H2SO4, CO2, O2 and similar gaseous components which may contribute to the overall phenomenon.

The model should be based on knowledge from literature search, first principles and measurements in the lab. The conditions need to be reproduced in lab- or pilot-scale experimental set ups and the different sub -processes should be studied separately where possible. Effects of limestone and lube oil are key points to consider in the development.


Henrik Lund Nielsen
PhD student
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 28 86


Philip Loldrup Fosbøl
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 28 68