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Energies 2010, 3(12), 1960-1971;

Observation of Sintering of Clathrate Hydrates

Division of Applied Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, N13 W8, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2010 / Revised: 2 December 2010 / Accepted: 10 December 2010 / Published: 13 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Gas Hydrate)
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Clathrate hydrates have recently received attention as novel storage and transportation materials for natural gases or hydrogen. These hydrates are treated as powders or particles, and moderate storage temperatures (around 253 K) are set for economic reasons. Thus, it is necessary to consider the sintering of hydrate particles for their easy handling because the hydrates have a framework similar to that of ice, even though their sintering would require guest molecules in addition to water molecules. We observed the sintering process of clathrate hydrates to estimate the rate of sintering. Spherical tetrahydrofuran (THF) hydrate particles were used in observations of sintering under a microscope equipped with a CCD camera and a time-lapse video recorder. We found that THF hydrate particles stored at temperatures below the equilibrium condition sintered like ice particles. The sintering part was confirmed to be not ice, but THF hydrate, by increasing the temperature above 273 K after each experiment. The sintering rate was lower than that of ice particles under the normal vapor condition at the same temperature. However, it became of the same order when the atmosphere of the sample was saturated with THF vapor. This indicates that the sintering rate of THF hydrate was controlled by the transportation of guest molecules through the vapor phase accompanied with water molecules. View Full-Text
Keywords: sintering; tetrahydrofuran hydrate; ice; vapor transportation sintering; tetrahydrofuran hydrate; ice; vapor transportation

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Uchida, T.; Shiga, T.; Nagayama, M.; Gohara, K. Observation of Sintering of Clathrate Hydrates. Energies 2010, 3, 1960-1971.

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