Direct observations of three dimensional growth of hydrates hosted in porous media

Kerkar, Prasad; Jones, Keith W.; Kleinberg, Robert; Lindquist, W. Brent; Tomov, Stan; Huan Feng; Mahajan, Devinder
July 2009
Applied Physics Letters;7/13/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 2, p024102
Academic Journal
The visualization of time-resolved three-dimensional growth of tetrahydrofuran hydrates with glass spheres of uniform size as porous media using synchrotron x-ray computed microtomography is presented. The images of hydrate patches, formed from excess tetrahydrofuran in aqueous solution, show random nucleation and growth concomitant with grain movement but independent of container-wall effect. Away from grain surfaces, hydrate surface curvature was convex showing that liquid, not hydrate, was the wetting phase, similar to ice growth in porous media. The extension of the observed behavior to methane hydrates could have implications in understanding their role in seafloor stability and climate change.


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