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Energies 2012, 5(4), 898-910; doi:10.3390/en5040898
Article

Direct Observation of THF Hydrate Formation in Porous Microstructure Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging

1
, 1,* , 1,* , 1
, 1,2
, 1
, 1
, 1
 and 1
1 Key Laboratory of Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China 2 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 December 2011 / Revised: 20 March 2012 / Accepted: 23 March 2012 / Published: 5 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Gas Hydrate 2011)
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Abstract

The porous microstructure of hydrates governs the mechanical strength of the hydrate-bearing sediment. To investigate the growth law and microstructure of hydrates in porous media, the growth process of tetrahydrofuran (THF) hydrate under different concentration of THF solution is directly observed using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The images show that the THF hydrate grows as different models under different concentration of THF solution (19%, 11.4% and 5.7% by weight) at 1 °C. When the concentration is 19% (stoichiometric molar ratio of THF/H2O = 1:17), the THF hydrate grows as cementing model. However, with the decreasing concentration of THF, the growth model transfers from cementing model to floating model. The results show that the growth of the THF hydrate was influenced by the dissolved quantity of THF in the water. The extension of the observed behavior to methane hydrate could have implications in understanding their role in seafloor and permafrost stability.
Keywords: hydrate; growth habit; porous microstructure; tetrahydrofuran; magnetic resonance imaging hydrate; growth habit; porous microstructure; tetrahydrofuran; magnetic resonance imaging
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Xue, K.; Zhao, J.; Song, Y.; Liu, W.; Lam, W.; Zhu, Y.; Liu, Y.; Cheng, C.; Liu, D. Direct Observation of THF Hydrate Formation in Porous Microstructure Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Energies 2012, 5, 898-910.

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