A NOVEL APPROACH TO MEASURING METHANE DIFFUSIVITY THROUGH A HYDRATE FILM USING DIFFERENTIAL SCANNING CALORIMETRY Davies, Simon R.; Lachance, Jason W.; Sloan, E. Dendy; Koh, Carolyn A.
The avoidance of hydrate blockages in deepwater subsea tiebacks presents a major technical challenge with severe implications for production, safety and cost. The successful prediction of when and where hydrate plugs form could lead to substantial reductions in the use of chemical inhibitors, and to corresponding savings in operational expenditure. The diffusivity of the gas hydrate former (methane) or the host molecule (water), through a hydrate film is a key property for such predictions of hydrate plug formation. In this paper, a novel application of Differential Scanning Calorimetry is described in which a hydrate film was allowed to grow at a hydrocarbon-water interface for different hold-times. By determining the change in mass of the hydrate film as a function of hold-time, an effective diffusivity could be inferred. The effect of the subcooling, and of the addition of a liquid hydrocarbon layer were also investigated. Finally, the transferability of these results to hydrate growth from water-in-oil emulsions is discussed.
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