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ABSTRACT: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been shown to be a very effective tool for monitoring the formation and dissociation of hydrates because of the large intensity contrast between the images of the liquid components and the solid hydrate. Tetrahydrofuran/water hydrate was used because the two liquid components are miscible and form hydrate at ambient pressure. These properties made this feasibility study proceed much faster than using methane/water, which requires high pressure to form the hydrate. The formation and dissociation was monitored first in a THF/water-saturated Berea sandstone plug and second in the bulk. In both cases it appeared that nucleation was needed to begin the formation process, i.e., the presence of surfaces in the sandstone and shaking of the bulk solution. Dissociation appeared to be dominated by the rate of thermal energy transfer. The dissociation temperature of hydrate formed in the sandstone plug was not significantly different from the dissociation temperature in bulk.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging 12/2003; 21(9):1061-9. · 2.06 Impact Factor