Experimental Investigation of Deposition and Wall Growth in Water Saturated Hydrocarbon Pipelines in the Absence of Free Water Nicholas, Joseph W.; Dieker, Laura E.; Nuebling, Lee; Horn, Bob; He, Helen; Koh, Carolyn A.; Sloan, E. Dendy
Using a combination of micromechanical force and flowloop measurements, hydrate deposition on a pipe wall surface was investigated for ‘dry’ hydrates formed in the bulk phase and for hydrates growing on the pipe surface. Cyclopentane ‘dry’ hydrates (without a free water phase) were used to predict whether hydrates, formed in a bulk condensate phase, would adhere to a pipe wall. Adhesion forces between cyclopentane hydrates and steel were measured using a micro-mechanical force apparatus. The average force of adhesion was measured to be very small, less than 0.01 N/m. This force was used in a particle force balance, predicting that hydrates formed in the bulk phase would not deposit on the pipe wall. It was hypothesized than in the presence of a water saturated hydrocarbon, hydrates would grow on the pipe wall as the fluid cooled below its equilibrium temperature. This hypothesis was confirmed using a single pass condensate flowloop. Water was continuously dissolved into the flowloop inlet stream as water deposited in the flowloop test section, resulting in both a pressure drop and fluid temperature increase. This work illustrates the need for a hydrate wall growth model.
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