Rust elimination

We are a social company based in Nigeria. We employ women to make products out of hyacinths. A well-known problem on our hands is that water hyacinth tends to cause metal to rust. Not in all cases but in quite a good number. Where it makes sense, we wrap the metal with tape to provide some kind of barrier between the water hyacinth and the metal. In other instances, we have tried spraying the metal with a rust inhibitor. The results have been short-lived. I think the climate is a huge contributor to the rusting. I other places where we have kept some of our woven products there has been no sign of rusting and these products have been there for at least 3 years! Over here in Nigeria, within a month we start to see rust on the metal where the water hyacinth is in contact with the metal. The question we keep asking is how do we go about a low-cost solution to eliminate rust.

Challenge posted

December 14, 2016

Type of posting organization

Private company

Global Goals
  • No poverty
  • Gender equality
  • Responsible consumption & production
  • Climate action
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1 thought on “Rust elimination”

  1. Interesting! Three basic factors behind rust: pH, ions (salt), something that can oxidize (in the hyacinth I assume) and oxygen. Take away one of these and you have none or in the case of the ions, slower process. Add chloride ions and it accelerates. Thus, consider the two environments where you have and do not have rust and which of the factors that varies and which can most easily be controlled.


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