Negative Effects of Inorganic Salt Invasion on the Dissociation Kinetics of Silica-Confined Gas Hydrate via Thermal Stimulation

Bin Fang, Tao Lü*, Liwei Cheng, Dongdong Wang, Yang Ni, Bowen Fan, Jiuling Meng, Thijs J.H. Vlugt, Fulong Ning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Methane hydrate dissociation kinetics can be inhibited in NaCl solutions; however, this effect is reversed by promoting bubble formation that enhances dissociation. The negative and positive effects of inorganic salt injection on gas production from hydrate-bearing sediments are still controversial. Here, molecular dynamics simulations were performed to investigate the characteristics of NaCl solution invasion into hydrate-occupied nanopores and the effects on the confined hydrate dissociation kinetics. Two initial configurations comprising liquid and silica pore phases were studied with a low or high NaCl concentration, respectively. The results show that, under the simulation conditions, salt invasion decelerated hydrate dissociation within the silica pore as NaCl invasion into the pore is stepwise. Initially, few ions can diffuse into the pore phase, and gas nanobubbles form on the solid surface mainly via confinement and surface effects, independent of NaCl solution invasion. Subsequently, gradual salt diffusion immersed the residual hydrate in the salt solution and hindered hydrate decomposition until the dissociation finished. More ions could diffuse into the pore phase at the high NaCl concentrations with a low diffusion efficiency, leading to surface nanobubble growth toward the residual hydrate and somewhat accelerated hydrate dissociation. This severely hinders the escape of released methane from the pore. This study yields molecular-level insight into the origin of the negative effect of salt invasion on hydrate dissociation, which should be avoided during gas production from hydrate reservoirs with low permeabilities via salt injection combined with thermal stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6216-6228
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Volume36
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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