Energies (Mar 2021)

Observation of the Main Natural Parameters Influencing the Formation of Gas Hydrates

  • Alberto Maria Gambelli,
  • Umberta Tinivella,
  • Rita Giovannetti,
  • Beatrice Castellani,
  • Michela Giustiniani,
  • Andrea Rossi,
  • Marco Zannotti,
  • Federico Rossi

DOI
https://doi.org/10.3390/en14071803
Journal volume & issue
Vol. 14, no. 1803
p. 1803

Abstract

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Chemical composition in seawater of marine sediments, as well as the physical properties and chemical composition of soils, influence the phase behavior of natural gas hydrate by disturbing the hydrogen bond network in the water-rich phase before hydrate formation. In this article, some marine sediments samples, collected in National Antarctic Museum in Trieste, were analyzed and properties such as pH, conductivity, salinity, and concentration of main elements of water present in the sediments are reported. The results, obtained by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and ion chromatography (IC) analysis, show that the more abundant cation is sodium and, present in smaller quantities, but not negligible, are calcium, potassium, and magnesium, while the more abundant anion is chloride and sulfate is also appreciable. These results were successively used to determine the thermodynamic parameters and the effect on salinity of water on hydrates’ formation. Then, hydrate formation was experimentally tested using a small-scale apparatus, in the presence of two different porous media: a pure silica sand and a silica-based natural sand, coming from the Mediterranean seafloor. The results proved how the presence of further compounds, rather than silicon, as well as the heterogeneous grainsize and porosity, made this sand a weak thermodynamic and a strong kinetic inhibitor for the hydrate formation process.

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