MODELING THE METHANE HYDRATE FORMATION IN AN AQUEOUS FILM SUBMITED TO STEADY COOLING Avendaño-Gómez, Juan Ramón; García-Sánchez, Fernando; Vázquez Gurrola, Dynora
The aim of this work is to model the thermal evolution inside a hydrate forming system which is submitted to an imposed steady cooling. The study system is a cylindrical thin film of aqueous solution at 19 Mpa, the methane is the hydrate forming molecule and it is assumed that methane is homogeneously dissolved in the aqueous phase. The model in this work takes into account two factors involved in the hydrate crystallization: 1) the stochastic nature of crystallization that causes sub-cooling and 2) the heat source term due to the exothermic enthalpy of hydrate formation. The model equation is based on the resolution of the continuity equation in terms of a heat balance. The crystallization of the methane hydrate occurs at supercooling conditions (Tcryst < TF), besides, the heat released during crystallization interferes with the imposed condition of steady decrease of temperature around the system. Thus, the inclusion of the heat source term has to be considered in order to take into account the influence of crystallization. The rate of heat released during the crystallization is governed by the probability of nucleation J(T ). The results provided by the model equation subjected to boundary conditions allow depict the evolution of temperature in the dispersed phase. The most singular point in the temperature–time curve is the onset time of hydrate crystallization. Three time intervals characterize the temperature evolution during the steady cooling: (1) linear cooling, (2) hydrate formation with a release of heat, (3) a last interval of steady cooling.
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