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Hydrate Shell Growth Measured Using NMR

Haber, Agnes, Akhfash, Masoumeh, Loh, Charles K., Aman, Zachary M., Fridjonsson, Einar O., May, Eric F., Johns, Michael L.
Langmuir 2015 v.31 no.32 pp. 8786-8794
droplet size, droplets, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Benchtop nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) pulsed field gradient (PFG) and relaxation measurements were used to monitor the clathrate hydrate shell growth occurring in water droplets dispersed in a continuous cyclopentane phase. These techniques allowed the growth of hydrate inside the opaque exterior shell to be monitored and, hence, information about the evolution of the shell’s morphology to be deduced. NMR relaxation measurements were primarily used to monitor the hydrate shell growth kinetics, while PFG NMR diffusion experiments were used to determine the nominal droplet size distribution (DSD) of the unconverted water inside the shell core. A comparison of mean droplet sizes obtained directly via PFG NMR and independently deduced from relaxation measurements showed that the assumption of the shell modela perfect spherical core of unconverted waterfor these hydrate droplet systems is correct, but only after approximately 24 h of shell growth. Initially, hydrate growth is faster and heat-transfer-limited, leading to porous shells with surface areas larger than that of spheres with equivalent volumes. Subsequently, the hydrate growth rate becomes mass-transfer-limited, and the shells become thicker, spherical, and less porous.