Category Archives: MMO Anodes

Natural Gas Fueling US Steel Competitiveness

Cheap and abundant Marcellus Shale gas derived from US fracking technology helps to drive competitiveness for a wide range of industries in the United States. This is especially true for the US Steel industry, and MATCOR’s recent project in Western Pennsylvania in the rolling hills of the Monongahela Valley is a great example of this.

US Steel Irvin Plant

Nestled on a hilltop 250 feet above the valley is US Steel’s Mon Valley Works–Irvin Plant. This hot strip mill in the Pittsburgh West Mifflin suburbs first opened in 1938. The hilltop site required more than 4.4 million cubic yards of earth to be moved, more than any other project other than the Panama Canal. In May of 2019, US Steel announced plans to invest $1 billion dollars at the site to expand it and to build a cogeneration power facility expected to be operational by 2022.

MATCOR was selected by US Steel to install, commission and test an impressed current cathodic protection system to protect the critical coke oven gas (COG) product pipelines mixed at the West Mifflin COG facility. The coke oven gas is a mixture of commercial natural gas and recovered waste coke gas. This blending of natural gas with recovered gas reduces costs and improves US Steel’s energy efficiency. The pipeline, affectionately called the Green Monster, traverses the valley feeding various facilities. Mostly above grade, the pipeline goes below grade in numerous locations.

US Steel Cathodic Protection System Installation

MATCOR’s MMP 3605 mixed metal oxide based canister anodes were selected as the new cathodic protection system anodes to protect the buried piping. Fifteen anodes were installed in individual 20-foot depth augered holes and connected to a #2 HMWPE buried header cable requiring approximately 1500 linear feet of trenching. The project included site specific safety training, regular coordination with site personnel and site restoration (seed, straw and fertilizer) after completion of the installation.

The project was a tremendous success and MATCOR is proud to have been able to partner with US Steel for their buried pipe corrosion protection.


Have questions or need a quote for cathodic protection materials or services? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
Contact a Corrosion Expert

What is The Best Anode For Low Temperature Seawater Applications?

A MATCOR customer recently inquired about mixed metal oxide (MMO) anodes for low temperature seawater environments amid a concern over the formation of chlorine hydrates.  

This article describes a special low temperature MMO anode formulation that addresses these concerns. MATCOR is currently working on two projects that will potentially benefit from this modified MMO anode.

What is the best anode for low temperature seawater applications?
What is the best anode for low temperature seawater applications?

What concerns are there over the use of MMO anodes in cold water environments?

As a general rule, MMO anodes perform exceptionally well in chlorinating environments such as seawater.  Almost all MATCOR anodes are manufactured using a standard MMO coating formulation that is designed to operate efficiently in a wide range of electrolytes and environments.

In low temperature seawater, however, there is the possibility that high localized concentrations of chlorine can be formed in conjunction with a significantly reduced pH environment. 

Chlorine hydrate is a chlorine molecule caged in 8 molecules of water.  The generation of chlorine hydrate is strongly related to localized mass transport limitations which are greater at lower temperatures. There is no direct impact of chlorine hydrates to the titanium anode substrate or the anode coating. However, the presence of significant amounts of chlorine hydrate may result in inhomogeneous current distribution due to the differences in the conductivity. This could impact both the effectiveness of the current distribution being applied to the cathodically protected structure, and, over the long term, the wear rate or life of the coating.

Localized factors have a significant effect on the conditions that result in chloride hydrate formation. In addition, the properties of the MMO coating can have an impact.

MATCOR’s standard MMO formulation is suitable for low temperature chlorinated environments.

A modified formulation provides the best anode for low temperature seawater applications

By modifying the formulation, we can lower the oxygen overpotential to promote greater oxygen generation and less chlorine. This modified formulation reduces the quantity of chlorine gas while favoring the generation of oxygen.

This “cold” MMO formulation in low temperatures can be expected to reduce chlorine and boost oxygen generation by as much as 15%.

The other factor that has a large influence is current density, as it is this current density that determines the quantities of both oxygen and chlorine gas that are evolved. Reducing current density reduces the quantity of chlorine gas being generated.

In summary, MATCOR’s standard MMO coating formulation is a broad-based formulation that works in a wide range of electrolytes.

For areas of significant concern due to a combination of low temperature electrolyte and high current density, a special low temperature formulation is available. This formula reduces chlorine generation in favor of oxygen, helping to reduce any concerns over low temperature and chlorine hydrate formation.


If you have questions, or would like information on MATCOR’s special MMO anodes for low temperature applications, please contact us at the link below.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

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