CORROLYTICS Wants to Expose the Hidden Threat of Corrosion

The Cleveland startup’s first-of-its-kind test kit helps mitigate pipeline deterioration

oil and gas pipelines


One of the biggest enemies for industries that work with metal structures is corrosion. If not addressed quickly, it can wreak havoc on construction and pipeline projects and quickly bring production to a halt. So how can industry workers identify corrosion as fast as possible to prevent this from happening? To protect pipelines and reduce the risk of waste, Cleveland-based startup CORROLYTICS has developed cutting-edge technology to detect and monitor corrosion in real-time.

“CORROLYTICS’ technology accurately detects and monitors the presence of corrosion causing microbes growing inside of oil and gas pipelines,” said CEO and Co-Founder Anwar Sadek. “Typically the industry uses bug bottles to test for the presence of microbes by color change, but not all microbes cause corrosion. So we created this innovative electrochemical test to capture whether corrosion is caused by a microorganism or by another source. That way, our customers can develop a mitigation strategy depending on the type of corrosion they see.”

The testing kit provides roughly 80% accuracy and the startup is further developing the technology to increase its accuracy across different regions, altitudes and environments. CORROLYTICS’ technology also provides another piece of critical information to customers — the corrosion rate. With that number, project engineers can create a predictive model to anticipate a potential pipeline failure. They can also test the effectiveness of their mitigation plan against the corrosion rate to make sure it’s working.

“We are always researching in the lab and figuring out new ways to bring this technology to the field to be used on site remotely,” Sadek said. “So far we have developed the electronics and the kit prototype and we are now able to partner with a couple major players who provide us with feedback and real-world samples to get the information we need. Now, we are currently fundraising to develop our prototype further and planning a limited launch to our pilot customers.”

Some of these major players include Hilcorp Alaska, one of the largest oil and gas companies in the United States. Locally, the startup is partnering with Dominion Energy, as well as DNV in Columbus, who has provided them with feedback since their research phase. As they build their network and connections within the industry and work towards launching their test kits, Sadek is confident that their product will have a positive impact across the country.

“We will potentially be overlooking 2.8 million miles of pipelines and creating thousands of test kits every year,” he said. “We are talking about millions of dollars from each customer alone and our goal is to have a big impact on the economy of Ohio and create jobs here through manufacturing, especially in Northeast Ohio.”

The goal for Sadek is to bring a big boost to the economy of Ohio and along the way he wants to highlight the state’s flourishing startup scene that has given the company the tools needed to successfully develop their technology. And as a driven entrepreneur, he sees Ohio as the perfect place for CORROLYTICS to continue its growth.

“The technology coming out of the University of Akron is pretty big for Northeast Ohio,” he said. “I have been doing my PhD here for the last eight years and this place feels like home to me. The state has given us the tools, the education and the entrepreneurial services from places like Bounce, JumpStart and MAGNET. These innovation hubs are tremendous and have guided us along the way, so it was great to have their technical advice and mentorship. Stepping into the entrepreneurial world, they were key in shaping me into who I am today.”

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