MACROSCOPIC INVESTIGATION OF HYDRATE FILM GROWTH AT THE HYDROCARBON/WATER INTERFACE Taylor, Craig J.; Miller, Kelly T.; Koh, Carolyn A.; Sloan, E. Dendy
Hydrate film growth has been examined at the hydrocarbon/water interface for cyclopentane and methane hydrate. Video microscopy was used to measure hydrate film thickness, propagation rate across the hydrocarbon/water interface and gas consumption measurements characterized the hydrate formation mechanism. Cyclopentane and methane hydrate film formation were measured over the temperature range of 260–279K and pressure range of atmospheric to 8.3MPa. Hydrate formation was initiated by the propagation of a thin, porous film across the hydrocarbon/water interface. The propagation rate and thickening of the hydrate film was strongly dependent on the hydrate former solubility in the aqueous phase, in the absence and presence of hydrate. Cyclopentane hydrate film thickness began at ~12 μm and grew to a final thickness (15–40 μm) which increased with subcooling. Methane hydrate film thickness began at ~ 5 μm and grew to a final thickness (20–100 μm) which also increased with subcooling. The hydrate film grew into the water phase. Gas consumption measurements indicated that the aqueous phase supplied hydrate former during the initial hydrate growth, and the free gas supplied the hydrate former for film thickening and development. Hydrate film formation at the hydrocarbon/water interface was proposed to consist of three consecutive stages: propagation, development and bulk conversion.
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