Chemists invent new method to predict metals’ reactions with water

The wide reach of corrosion, a multitrillion-dollar global problem, may someday be narrowed considerably thanks to a new, better approach to predict how metals react with water.

Douglas Kessler, director of the Center for Sustainable Materials, and chemist Paul Ha-Yeon Cheong from Oregon State along with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new computational method that combines two techniques to make predictions faster, less costly and more effective.

The findings, published in Nature Communications, could have a wide range of applications, including in the design of bridges and aircraft engines, both of which are susceptible to corrosion.

Every metal except precious metals like gold and silver reacts with water, said Doug Keszler, distinguished professor of chemistry in Oregon State’s College of Science.

“We’d like to predict the specific reactions of metals and combinations of metals with water and what the products of those reactions are, by computational methods first as opposed to determining them experimentally,” said Keszler, who also serves as director of the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry at OSU.

Chemistry graduate students Lindsay Wills, I-Ya Chang and Thomas Mustard are also co-authors.

Read the full story here.

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