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Methane recovery from marine gas hydrates: A bench scale study in presence of low dosage benign additives

Bhattacharjee, Gaurav, Choudhary, Nilesh, Barmecha, Vivek, Kushwaha, Omkar S., Pande, Nawal K., Chugh, Parivesh, Roy, Sudip, Kumar, Rajnish
Applied energy 2019 v.253 pp. 113566
additives, dissociation, economic feasibility, endothermy, energy, foams, gas hydrate, methane, mixing, quantum mechanics, streams, temperature, toxicity
De-pressurization is one approach which has been found to be economically feasible for methane recovery from marine hydrates. Hydrate dissociation being an endothermic process suggests that de-pressurization alone would not be sufficient and some additional stimulation would be required for sustained production from one such reservoir. Thermal stimulation may overcome the challenge posed by the endothermic dissociation process; however, economically it may not be ideal. A possible way out is to use thermal stimulation, but at relatively low temperatures as compared to conventional practice. This would be economical and can be accomplished in the presence of small doses of additives mixed in with the water stream used for thermal stimulation. In the present study, a number of benign additives were identified which when used in low concentrations enhance the kinetics of methane hydrate dissociation compared to pure water. Additives were first shortlisted from a wide potential pool using quantum mechanical calculations. These additives were later tested for their efficacy in stirred tank reactor to quickly identify the best additives for the job and few selected additives were then studied in a larger bench scale setup (fixed bed configuration) where they were injected in the form of an additive-water stream to dissociate already formed hydrates. Factors such as toxicity of the additive, fluidity of additive-water stream, foam formation on mixing of additive with water, etc. were also taken into account. An energy and efficiency analysis revealed that reported additives enhance the energy ratio and thermal efficiency of the process as compared to pure water stimulation.