Rapid Hydrate Formation, A Process for Transport and Storage of Natural Gas

C.E. Taylor, T. Brown, A. Unione
U.S. Department of Energy, US

Keywords: gas, hydrate, formation, methane, storage, transportation


Experimental results from the Na¬tional Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) show that rapid and continu¬ous formation of methane hydrate, as well as other gas-derived hydrates is achievable. The goal of this technology is to pro¬vide a safer, environmentally friendly, and potentially lower-cost alternative for natural gas storage and transportation. In the laboratory, methane hydrate formation typically takes anywhere from 6 hours to several days or weeks. However, NETL’s rapid hydrate forma¬tion process allows instantaneous and continuous methane hydrate formation by use of a novel nozzle resulting in a continuous process producing hydrates at lower capitol and energy costs. This patent-pending technology produces gas hydrates from a mixture of water and a hydrate-forming gas. The two-phase mixture is created in a mixing zone contained within the body of the spray nozzle. The mixture is then sprayed into a reaction vessel under pressure and temperature conditions suitable for gas hydrate formation. The nozzle allows for improved gas solubility and heat transfer. The result is the instantaneous and continuous formation of gas hydrates with a greatly reduced induction time for gas hydrate crystal formation.