Sour gas wells frequently co-produce elemental sulfur which can cause catastrophic corrosion
of mild steel. As producing wells become increasingly sour, the incidence of sulfur corrosion
will likely increase. Despite the severity of this problem, limited mechanistic information about
this process exists in the literature. The objective of this study is investigation of the corrosion
mechanism involving elemental sulfur.
Building on the knowledge found in open literature, sulfur hydrolysis and the sulfur/iron
reaction mechanisms were both studied in this work. It was found that a sulfur hydrolysis
reaction does occur during elemental sulfur corrosion, but does not appear to be dominant.
Experimental results confirmed that a sulfur/iron electrochemical reaction is the main
mechanism of elemental sulfur corrosion.
Keywords: elemental sulfur corrosion, hydrolysis, electrochemical reaction