Pumping Salt Solutions and Brines with Teledyne ISCO Syringe Pumps

A brine is defined as an aqueous solution containing higher concentrations of inorganic salt than typical seawater (greater than 5% salt).  Simpler brines generally contain common chlorides such as sodium, calcium or potassium, and may be used in applications such as the oilfield industry and production facilities.  Denser solutions containing zinc bromide, caesium formate, or iodine salts, can also be used in industrial applications, but are generally more corrosive.

ISCO syringe pumps are designed to pump a wide range of fluids, with standard hardware made of Nitronic 50®, a nitrogen-strengthened stainless steel originally developed for marine applications in solutions with sodium chloride concentrations of up to 3%.

To avoid the corrosive effects of salt solutions such as seawater, brines and buffers used in core flooding and other applications, regular flushing of pump cylinders is always recommended.  However, applications with higher concentrations and/or more frequent use of salt solutions may also require a wash gland or special wetted materials such as Hastelloy.

Cylinder Purging and Washing  

With each upward piston stroke, the inner surface of the cylinder is wetted with a thin film of liquid.  A brine solution will corrode the inside of the cylinder and may damage the seals as it dries.  Lower flow rates cause more corrosion due to the liquid film having a longer drying period.  A number of techniques and options are available with ISCO pumps.


The standard Nitronic 50 pump cylinder can withstand many corrosive fluids.  To minimize corrosion, flush the cylinder at the end of every experiment.

Work image

Illustration of ISCO 1000D wash gland operation’

Wash Gland

For additional corrosion protection and to improve seal life, the pump can be equipped with a wash gland for flushing the cylinder of any residue from pumped liquid.  The wash gland is a standard feature in the Model 1000D pump and is available as an option on the 500D and 100DM pump.

Hastelloy Upgrade

For ultimate corrosion resistance, any of the ISCO pumps can be manufactured from Hastelloy C-276 and specified so that the entire wetted flow path is Hastelloy.

For more information on Teledyne Isco syringe pumps contact us at www.aquilantscientific.com

Presearch Ltd T/A Aquilant Scientific

Unit B1-B2, Bond Close, Kingsland Business Park, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8PZ, United KingdomT +44 (0)1256 365 492    F +44 (0)1256 365 486     contactus@aquilantscientific.com

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