An Examination of the Prediction of Hydrate Formation Conditions in the Presence of Thermodynamic Inhibitors


Braz. J. Chem. Eng.




Abstract Gas hydrates are crystalline compounds, solid structures where water traps small guest molecules, typically light gases, in cages formed by hydrogen bonds. They are notorious for causing problems in oil and gas production, transportation and processing. Gas hydrates may form at pressures and temperatures commonly found in natural gas and oil production pipelines, thus causing partial or complete pipe blockages. In order to inhibit hydrate formation, chemicals such as alcohols (e.g., ethanol, methanol, mono-ethylene glycol) and salts (sodium, magnesium or potassium chloride) are injected into the produced stream. The purpose of this work is to briefly review the literature on hydrate formation in mixtures containing light gases (hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide) and water in the presence of thermodynamic inhibitors. Four calculation methods to predict hydrate formation in those systems were examined and compared. Three commercial packages (Multiflash®, PVTSim® and CSMGem) and a hydrate prediction routine in Fortran90 using the van der Waals and Platteeuw theory and the Peng-Robinson equation of state were tested. Predictions given by the four methods were compared to independent experimental data from the literature. In general, the four methods were found to be reasonably accurate. CSMGem and Multiflash® showed the best results.

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