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CHPR 4404 Advanced Thermodynamics

Tutorial 9 Gas Hydrates

Jeffrey has been asked by his manager to estimate potential gas hydrate risks in a new subsea
pipeline, where a gas (85 mol% methane, 10 mol% ethane, and 5 mol% propane) will be
transported alongside a small amount of water. The pressure and temperature coordinates of the
pipeline are provided below, where the initial point corresponds to the tieback inlet and the final
point corresponds to the riser.

Table 1. PT Coordinates of pipeline.

X (miles) P (psia) T (F)
0 3000 140
2 2800 120
4 2600 100
6 2400 80
8 2200 60
10 2000 44
12 1800 39
14 1600 38
16 1400 41
18 1200 50
20 1000 60
22 600 72

1. Lacking access to modern technology, Jeffrey first decides to use an Antoine-type equation
(below) to estimate the formation conditions for pure methane hydrate (as the major component of
the gas). The methane coefficients a and b are 38.98 and -8533.80, for a temperature range of 0 to
25 C. To the nearest mile, which regions of the pipeline are in jeopardy of hydrate formation?

The risk area is approximately 8-17 miles in the tieback, using the above equation (see solution
plot below).

2. Jeffrey recalls that the formation conditions for pure methane hydrate are much harsher than
those for mixed gases, and he may be under-estimating the risk zone! He next decides to use the gas
gravity method (discussed in the lecture slides). Using this method, estimate (to the nearest mile)
which regions of the pipeline are in jeopardy of hydrate formation for the full gas composition.

The risk area is approximately 7-19 miles in the tieback. Another three miles of flow conditions
that werent previously considered under a one-component solution!

3. Satisfied with Jeffreys answer, his manager asks him to run a full Multiflash calculation to
determine the exact hydrate phase boundary. Using the CPA model for structure II hydrate, identify
the risk zone of the pipeline. At which temperature is the greatest deviation between the Multiflash
result and gas gravity method?

The risk zone is 7-20 miles in the tieback. Greatest deviation around T = 65 C.

4. Finally, Jeffreys manager asks him to propose a solution. He recalls from the haze of
thermodynamics chanting methanol! methanol! methanol! as the primary solution to hydrate
problems. Assuming 1 mole of water per mole of gas in the pipeline, what is the molar fraction of
methanol that must be injected, such that the hydrate phase boundary is outside of the listed
operating conditions?

Approximately 0.26 mol of methanol per mole of water is required.

Overall Solution Plot: