Institute of Petroleum Engineering

Centre for Gas Hydrate Research Publications

Abstract 142

Clathrate formation and dissociation in vapor/water/ice/hydrate systems in SBA-15, sol–gel and CPG porous media, as probed by NMR relaxation, novel protocol NMR cryoporometry, neutron scattering and ab initio quantum–mechanical molecular dynamics simulation

Webber, J.B.W., Anderson, R., Strange, J. and Tohidi, B.

Accepted for publication in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (2007).

The Gibbs-Thomson effect modifies the pressure and temperature at which clathrates occur, hence altering the depth at which they occur in the seabed. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements as a function of temperature are being conducted for water/ice/hydrate systems in a range of pore geometries, including templated SBA-15 silicas, controlled pore glasses and sol–gel silicas. Rotatorphase plastic ice is shown to be present in confined geometry, and bulk tetrahydrofuran hydrate is also shown to probably have a rotator phase. A novel NMR cryoporometry protocol, which probes both melting and freezing events while avoiding the usual problem of supercooling for the freezing event, has been developed. This enables a detailed probing of the system for a given pore size and geometry and the exploration of differences between hydrate formation and dissociation processes inside pores. These process differences have an important effect on the environment, as they impact on the ability of a marine hydrate system to re-form once warmed above a critical temperature. Ab initio quantum–mechanical molecular dynamics calculations are also being employed to probe the dynamics of liquids in pores at nanometric dimensions.

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