(746g) Developing Nanoparticles As Anti-Agglomerant for Gas Hydrate Slurry Flow

Authors: 
Zhang, X., Colorado School of Mines
Gong, J., Colorado school of Mines
Wu, N., Colorado School of Mines
Sum, A., Colorado School of Mines
Gas hydrates are a major concern in the oil and gas production. Its formation and agglomeration can be detrimental to the normal production, and unless properly managed, can eventually lead to economic loss as well as safety problems. In recent years, one approach for hydrate management is the use of anti-agglomerant (AA) chemicals to produce a well dispersed hydrate slurry, thus preventing hydrate agglomeration and plugging. The working mechanism of AAs is unknown but it is likely associated with the surface interactions on the hydrate particles that minimize their aggregation and disperse the particles in the hydrocarbon liquid phase. A major concern of the common AAs is their toxicity and recovery. Nanoparticles are well known for helping stabilizing water in oil emulsions (pickering emulsion), thus suggesting that they may also have affect interfacial properties that may impact the agglomeration of hydrate particles. Moreover, nanoparticles, depending on properties and functional groups, may also show less toxicity and could be readily recovered and recycled than molecular AAs. This study shows the preliminary results establishing a model system using hydrocarbon, water, and silica-based nanoparticles. We tested the emulsion stability with nanoparticles, the agglomeration tendency of the emulsion system during ice and hydrate formation, and the synergetic effects with molecular AAs. This study demonstrates the promising potential of using nanoparticles to reduce molecular AA dosages or even replace molecular AAs.