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Energies 2012, 5(5), 1292-1308; doi:10.3390/en5051292

Heat Transfer Analysis of Methane Hydrate Sediment Dissociation in a Closed Reactor by a Thermal Method

* , * ,
Key Laboratory of Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, China
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 March 2012 / Revised: 13 April 2012 / Accepted: 18 April 2012 / Published: 2 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Gas Hydrate 2011)
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The heat transfer analysis of hydrate-bearing sediment involved phase changes is one of the key requirements of gas hydrate exploitation techniques. In this paper, experiments were conducted to examine the heat transfer performance during hydrate formation and dissociation by a thermal method using a 5L volume reactor. This study simulated porous media by using glass beads of uniform size. Sixteen platinum resistance thermometers were placed in different position in the reactor to monitor the temperature differences of the hydrate in porous media. The influence of production temperature on the production time was also investigated. Experimental results show that there is a delay when hydrate decomposed in the radial direction and there are three stages in the dissociation period which is influenced by the rate of hydrate dissociation and the heat flow of the reactor. A significant temperature difference along the radial direction of the reactor was obtained when the hydrate dissociates and this phenomenon could be enhanced by raising the production temperature. In addition, hydrate dissociates homogeneously and the temperature difference is much smaller than the other conditions when the production temperature is around the 10 °C. With the increase of the production temperature, the maximum of ΔToi grows until the temperature reaches 40 °C. The period of ΔToi have a close relation with the total time of hydrate dissociation. Especially, the period of ΔToi with production temperature of 10 °C is twice as much as that at other temperatures. Under these experimental conditions, the heat is mainly transferred by conduction from the dissociated zone to the dissociating zone and the production temperature has little effect on the convection of the water in the porous media.
Keywords: methane hydrate; thermal method; dissociation; temperature difference; heat transfer methane hydrate; thermal method; dissociation; temperature difference; heat transfer
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhao, J.; Cheng, C.; Song, Y.; Liu, W.; Liu, Y.; Xue, K.; Zhu, Z.; Yang, Z.; Wang, D.; Yang, M. Heat Transfer Analysis of Methane Hydrate Sediment Dissociation in a Closed Reactor by a Thermal Method. Energies 2012, 5, 1292-1308.

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