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Energies 2013, 6(3), 1233-1249;

Characteristics of Methane Hydrate Formation in Artificial and Natural Media

State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 December 2012 / Revised: 29 January 2013 / Accepted: 4 February 2013 / Published: 1 March 2013
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The formation of methane hydrate in two significantly different media was investigated, using silica gel as an artificial medium and loess as a natural medium. The methane hydrate formation was observed through the depletion of water in the matrix, measured via the matrix potential and the relationship between the matrix potential and the water content was determined using established equations. The velocity of methane hydrate nucleation slowed over the course of the reaction, as it relied on water transfer to the hydrate surfaces with lower Gibbs free energy after nucleation. Significant differences in the reactions in the two types of media arose from differences in the water retention capacity and lithology of media due to the internal surface area and pore size distributions. Compared with methane hydrate formation in silica gel, the reaction in loess was much slower and formed far less methane hydrate. The results of this study will advance the understanding of how the properties of the environment affect the formation of gas hydrates in nature. View Full-Text
Keywords: water conversion; matrix potential; methane hydrate; porous media water conversion; matrix potential; methane hydrate; porous media

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Zhang, P.; Wu, Q.; Yang, Y. Characteristics of Methane Hydrate Formation in Artificial and Natural Media. Energies 2013, 6, 1233-1249.

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