The hottest methanol surface coating prevents plug

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Methanol surface coating prevents blockage of deep-sea oil wells

China low carbon news in 2010, the Deepwater Horizon broke and leaked a lot of oil. At first, it seemed that it was possible to make a quick decision: the inhibitory dome was sunk to the rupture of the pipeline to obtain the oil flowing out, and it was pumped to the surface for proper treatment. However, this attempt soon failed because the dome was almost immediately filled with solidified methane hydrate

a block of natural gas hydrate (methane gas water inclusion complex) is mined from seabed sediments, just off the coast of Oregon. Source: MIT

methane hydrate will solidify because it will contact the cold water in the deep sea, which is a long-standing problem that plagues deep-sea oil and gas drilling. Sometimes, these solidified hydrates form in the wellbore, which will limit or even block the oil and gas flow, and increase the huge cost to the oil well operators

now, MIT researchers, led by associate professor and Mechanical Engineer kripa Varanasi, have found a solution, which was published in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics on March 23, 2012, It is entitled "hydrophobic hydrate surfaces: fundamental studies in clathrate hydrate adhesion reduction". The first author of the paper is J. David Smith, a graduate student majoring in mechanical engineering

the deep sea is becoming a "key resource" to develop new oil and gas wells, Varanasi said, because the world's energy demand continues to rise rapidly. However, there is a key problem. In order to make these deep wells exploitable, it is necessary to "ensure circulation": try to avoid the accumulation of methane hydrate. At present, this is mainly achieved by using expensive heating systems or chemical additives

"at present, in the oil and gas industry, it costs at least $200million a year just to buy chemicals," to prevent such accumulation, Varanasi said; According to industry insiders, in terms of total figures, the loss of prevention and production may reach billions of dollars due to hydrate. His research team has a new method, using a passive coating on the inside of the pipe, which can prevent hydrate from adhering

these hydrates form cage like crystalline structures, called clathrates, in which methane molecules are trapped in the lattice of water molecules. Although they look like ordinary ice, the formation of methane hydrate requires very high pressure: only in the deep sea or seabed, Smith 4. The specified non proportional extension force FP0.2 is not less than 84.9-346kn, Smith said. It is estimated that the total amount of methane (the main component of natural gas) in the world's seabed clathrates greatly exceeds the total amount of all other fossil fuels stored

when oil or natural gas is transported deep in the pipeline, methane hydrate will adhere to the inner wall, just like platelets accumulated in the arteries of the human body. In some cases, it will completely block the blood flow. There is no sign of blockage. In serious cases, some blocked pipelines need to be removed and replaced, which will lead to long-term shutdown. Current prevention efforts, including expensive pipe heating or insulation, also require additives, such as pouring methanol into flowing oil or natural gas. "Methanol is a good inhibitor that lasts for five seconds at a time," Varanasi said, and if it leaks, it is "very environmentally friendly"

Varanasi's research team began to study this problem first, and then the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. This group has long focused on some methods to prevent ordinary ice deposition. For example, on aircraft wings, it has also studied the creation of superhydrophobic surfaces to prevent water droplets from adhering to the surface. Therefore, Varanasi decided to carry out research, which is possible to create what he called "hydrophobic compound" surface to prevent hydrate from adhering to the pipe wall tightly. Methane hydrate itself is dangerous, so researchers mainly use the model hydrate system, which has similar properties

the adhesion strength of hydrate on bare steel and glass and after adding inhibitor coating. Source: MIT

this study has produced several significant effects: first, using a simple coating, Varanasi and his colleagues can reduce the adhesion of hydrate to the pipeline, reducing the adhesion of untreated surfaces to a quarter. Secondly, the test system they designed provides a simple and cheap way to find more effective inhibitors. Finally, researchers also found a strong correlation between surface "hydrophobic compound" properties and wettability, which can measure how liquid diffuses on the surface

these basic findings also apply to other solid attachments, Varanasi said. For example, solder is attached to circuit boards and calcite is deposited in pipelines. Therefore, the same test method can also be applied to a variety of commercial and industrial processes

Richard Camilli is an associate researcher of Applied Marine Physics and engineering at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He did not participate in this research. He said, "the energy industry has been working hard to ensure safety and liquidity. These problems have been related to hydrate formation and blockage for nearly a century.". He added that the problem became more serious because drilling was progressing to deeper waters. He added that the Varanasi research group's work "took a big step forward and will find a more environmentally friendly way to prevent hydrate blockage in the pipeline."

the members of this research group include MIT Bo. We have designed a new power line zigzag experimental machine that is compatible with national standards and IEC promotes the use of rare earth magnetic materials in high-speed railway permanent magnet electromechanical systems. Adam meuler, the postdoctoral student, and Harrison bralower, the undergraduate student, and Gareth McKinley, the professor of mechanical engineering; Robert, Professor of chemical engineering at St. Laurent? Cohen, Siva Subramanian and Rama Venkatesan, two researchers from Chevron energy technology company. The research was funded by the MIT Energy Program chevron program and the Doherty chair in ocean utilization project hosted by Doherty of Varanasi

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