EXPERIMENTAL METHOD FOR DETERMINATION OF THE RESIDUAL EQUILIBRIUM WATER CONTENT IN HYDRATE-SATURATED NATURAL SEDIMENTS Chuvilin, Evgeny; Guryeva, Olga; Istomin, Vladimir; Safonov, Sergey
The equilibrium “pore water in sediment–gas hydrate-former–bulk gas hydrate” was experimentally studied. This residual pore water corresponds to a minimal possible amount of water in the sediment, which is in thermodynamic equilibrium with both gas and the bulk hydrate phase. This pore water can be defined as non-clathrated water by analogy to unfrozen water widely used in geocryological science. The amount of non-clathrated water depends on pressure, temperature, type of sediment, and gas hydrate former. The presence of residual pore water influences the thermodynamic properties of hydrate-saturated samples. The paper’s purpose is to describe a new experimental method for determining the amount of non-clathrated water in sediments at different pressure/temperature conditions. This method is based on measuring the equilibrium water content in an initially air-dried sediment plate that has been placed in close contact with an ice plate under isothermal, hydrate-forming gas pressure conditions. This method was used to measure the non-clathrated water content in kaolinite clay in equilibrium with methane hydrate and CO2 hydrate at a temperature of –7.5o C in a range of gas pressures from 0.1 to 8.7 MPa for methane and from 0.1 to 2.5 MPa for CO2. Experimental data show that at the fixed temperature the non-clathrated water in hydrate-containing sediments sharply reduces when gas pressure increases. The experiment demonstrates that the non-clathrated water content strongly depends on temperature, the mineral structure of sediment, and the hydrate-forming gas.
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