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Using Microscopic Observations of Cyclopentane Hydrate Crystal Morphology and Growth Patterns To Estimate the Antiagglomeration Capacity of Surfactants

Abstract : The crystal growth and morphology of cyclopentane (CP) hydrates at a quiescent water/oil interface in the presence of 10 different surfactants were observed under a microscope. In most cases, the oil was CP, but for some of the observations a 50/50 vol % mixture of CP and n-octane (n-C8) (or n-dodecane (n-C12)) was used instead. For some of the surfactants, gas hydrates formed from a methane (CH4)/propane (C3H8) gas mixture at a quiescent water/n-C8 interface were also observed. The capacity of the surfactants to prevent the hydrate particles from agglomerating was assessed by measuring torque on oil-dominated systems (70 vol %) in a stirred autoclave at subcoolings of 6 and 10 °C for the CP hydrates and CH4/C3H8 hydrates, respectively. The oil phases were the same as those used in the morphology study. In the case of CP hydrates, the agglomeration state of the system was directly observed by opening the autoclave at the end of the hydrate formation. The size of the CP hydrate particles was measured, and their wettability was determined. The effect of the presence of salt (NaCl) on the crystal morphology and AA performance was also studied for some systems. All the surfactants that induced the formation of hydrate crystals that rapidly agglomerated at the water/CP interface showed poor AA performance. Whenever the surfactants induced the formation of individual oil-wettable crystals, their AA performance was good. If the individual crystals formed were water-wettable, two main behaviors were observed: (1) when the surfactant induced a very low water/CP interfacial tension (<1 mN/m), its AA performance was good, (2) but when it induced a higher interfacial tension (>1 mN/m), it exhibited poor AA performance. These trends in the AA performance of the surfactants were observed on both hydrate systems (CP hydrates and CH4/C3H8 hydrates). From the experimental results obtained in this work, we can infer that the microscopic observation of the morphology and growth pattern of CP hydrate crystals formed at a quiescent water/CP interface might be a simple way to rapidly assess if a surface-active molecule has an antiagglomeration effect on sII gas hydrates.
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Contributor : Christophe Dicharry Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, November 30, 2020 - 1:55:28 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 9, 2022 - 2:30:05 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, March 1, 2021 - 7:06:10 PM


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† H Delroisse, J.-P Torre, Christophe Dicharry, H. Delroisse, Jean-Philippe Torre, et al.. Using Microscopic Observations of Cyclopentane Hydrate Crystal Morphology and Growth Patterns To Estimate the Antiagglomeration Capacity of Surfactants. Energy & Fuels, American Chemical Society, 2020, 34 (5), pp.5176-5187. ⟨10.1021/acs.energyfuels.9b03395⟩. ⟨hal-02521356⟩



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