How Does Molybdate Work As a Corrosion Inhibitor

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The contact of metal surfaces with corrosive environments results in the degradation of their mechanical and chemical properties. This can cause undesirable outcomes in major areas of concern, including safety, environmental damage, and economic loss. As such, many techniques have been proposed to prevent metallic corrosion and its mechanisms in various applications.
Sodium molybdate (Na2MoO4) is one of the most effective corrosion inhibitors widely used in different corrosive media to retard the corrosion of numerous metallic materials.

What Is Sodium Molybdate?

Sodium molybdate is a white, crystalline salt naturally occurring as a dihydrate and an excellent source of molybdenum. Molybdate anions are chelating agents and have incredible oxidizing properties. The sodium molybdate compound has a density of 3.28, and its melting point is 687 degrees Celsius. This crystalline powder is soluble in water and non-combustible.

This compound is non-toxic and has great environmental acceptability. Sodium molybdate agent is considered an anodic inhibitor; however, its application needs the presence of other oxidizing agents, such as oxygen in solution.

It is used in a wide range of applications, including serving as a reagent in the production of molybdate tonners, metal finishing, analytical chemistry, additive for fertilizers and feeds, corrosion inhibitor, brightening agent for zinc plating, paint pigmentation, and catalyst in pigmentation production.

Sodium Molybdate as a Crossover Inhibitor

Sodium Molybdate is widely used as a corrosion inhibitor in metallic materials because it forms a protective film in corrosive environments. This is particularly true for systems that are subject to galvanic corrosion potentially caused by the material’s bimetallic construction.

This compound is also used to mitigate corrosion on steel pipes and minimize microbiologically caused corrosion. Formerly, chromates have been used to reduce corrosion on steel systems. But due to the impact on the environment, chromate-based agents are no longer applied in open cooling water systems and closed systems. Sodium molybdate is used in small quantities and together with other corrosive inhibitors like organic and inorganic phosphates.

Besides being effective in preventing corrosion in hard and soft water, sodium molybdate is also thermally stable and can serve as a great passivator when used with oxygen. In addition, molybdate treatments are gentle to the environment and often preferred where the availability of zinc and phosphate is limited.

Due to its non-oxidizing properties, sodium molybdate is used in metalwork finishing and metalworking fluids. The compound is an excellent source of micronutrients for crops and animals. In the agricultural industry, sodium molybdate is used in fertilizers, chemical products, and oil well drilling muds.

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