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Natural Gas Hydrates as a Problem or Solution to Energy Applications

Speaker: Carolyn Koh, Colorado School of Mines
Series: CBE Departmental Seminars
Location: Elgin Room (E-Quad A224)
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Natural gas hydrates are crystalline inclusion compounds comprised of a three-dimensional network of hydrogen-bonded water molecules that can trap small gas molecules in the water cavities. The ability to control gas hydrate nucleation and growth processes is important in several energy applications. During the production and transportation of oil/gas in subsea flowlines, gas hydrates can present a major problem forming blockages in the flowline. Conversely, gas hydrate technologies may be developed for energy storage of fuels in gas hydrate crystals, or as an alternative potential energy resource from naturally occurring hydrate deposits. The nucleation and growth processes and inter-particle interactions of gas hydrate crystals on gas bubbles and water droplets in water and oil continuous systems are examined at high pressure and low temperature conditions. Addition of surface-active molecules can be used to modify these processes, e.g. delaying the nucleation and growth processes, and/or reducing the inter-particle interactions. Structure metastability has been observed through spectroscopic and computational studies. Examples of the use of different additives or promoter guest molecules and synthesis conditions are presented for the production of hydrate slurry systems, or stable/metastable clathrate hydrate phases. These studies can help further our knowledge for developing clathrate materials for storage and other technologies.