Rapid methane hydrate formation to develop a cost effective large scale energy storage system

SNG (solidified natural gas) technology is a cost effective and environmentally benign option to store natural gas at a large scale and in a safe manner. In this study, we report a simple method to produce methane hydrates rapidly for the first time employing an unstirred reactor configuration in presence of tetrahydrofuran (THF) as a promoter. We report about 70% of water conversion to hydrates in just 60 min after nucleation with methane storage capacity of 4.2 ± 0.2 kmol of gas/m3 of water. For the first time, THF is reported to act both as a thermodynamic and kinetic promoter. We further elucidate the mechanism for this behavior by morphology observations during hydrate formation. We also demonstrate in this work that it is possible to scale up this method without significant reduction in the methane storage capacity making SNG technology suitable for large scale energy storage.

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This work has been published in Chemical Engineering Journal on January 22, 2016 (doi:10.1016/j.cej.2016.01.026)

Corresponding author(s): Praveen Linga ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Corresponding author(s) webpage: http://gashydrates.chbe.nus.edu.sg