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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Natural gas recovery from hydrates in a silica sand matrix Haligva, Cef


This thesis studies methane hydrate crystal formation and decomposition at 1.0, 4.0 and 7.0°C in a new apparatus. Hydrate was formed in the interstitial space of a variable volume bed of silica sand particles with an average diameter equal to 329μm (150 to 630μm range). The initial pressure inside the reactor was 8.0MPa for all the formation experiments. Three bed sizes were employed in order to observe the effects of the silica sand bed size on the rate of methane consumption (formation) and release (decomposition). The temperature at various locations inside the silica sand bed was measured with thermocouples during formation and decomposition experiments. For the decomposition experiments, two different methods were employed to dissociate the hydrate: thermal stimulation and depressurization. It was found that more than 74.0% of water conversion to hydrates was achieved in all hydrate formation experiments at 4.0°C and 1.0°C starting with a pressure of 8.0MPa. The dissociation of hydrate was found to occur in two stages when thermal stimulation was employed whereas three stages were found during depressurization. In both cases, the first stage was strongly affected by the changing bed size whereas it was not found to depend on the bed size afterwards.

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