Tuesday, November 10, 2015: 12:50 PM
252A/B (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Hydrates are of great importance in the oil and gas industry due to their ability to plug pipelines, thereby leading to significant costs involved with managing and mitigating associated flow assurance issues. Along with naturally occurring surfactants, a wide variety of solid particles are typically present in crude oil. The impact of these solids on hydrate formation must be properly understood in order to develop effective flow assurance management strategies. The lack of fundamental understanding of hydrate formation mechanisms in emulsions has motivated the current work focused on hydrate forming emulsions stabilized using both conventional surfactants and solid particles. The objective of this work is to provide insight into hydrate formation in emulsions by quantifying droplet and hydrate particle size using optical microscopy. For this work, an Olympus BX53 polarized optical microscope with shear cell and temperature control stage (-50°C to 450°C) is used to quantify droplet size distributions and hydrate particle morphology. Cyclopentane hydrate formation is quantified in model oil systems stabilized using both solid particles and conventional surfactants. The concentrations of the dispersed phase and the surfactant are varied to evaluate their effect on hydrate formation and emulsion behavior.