Energy & Fuels, Vol.27, No.8, 4564-4573, 2013
Model Water-in-Oil Emulsions for Gas Hydrate Studies in Oil Continuous Systems
Stable water-in-oil emulsions with water volume fraction ranging from 10 to 70 vol % have been developed with mineral oil 70T, Span 80, sodium di-2-ethylhexylsulfosuccinate (AOT), and water. The mean size of the water droplets ranges from 2 to 3 mu m. Tests conducted show that all emulsions are stable against coalescence for at least 1 week at 2 degrees C and room temperature. Furthermore, it was observed that the viscosity of the emulsion increases with increasing water volume fraction, with shear thinning behavior observed above certain water volume fraction emulsions (30 vol % at room temperature and 20 vol % at 1 degrees C). Viscosity tests performed at different times after emulsion preparation confirm that the emulsions are stable for 1 week. Differential scanning calorimetry performed on the emulsions shows that, for low water volume fraction emulsions (<50 vol %), the emulsions are stable upon ice and hydrate formation. Micromechanical force (MMF) measurements show that the presence of the surfactant mixture has little to no effect on the cohesion force between cyclopentane hydrate particles, although a change in the morphology of the particle was observed when the surfactant mixture was added into the system. High-pressure autoclave experiments conducted on the model emulsion resulted in a loose hydrate slurry when the surfactant mixture was present in the system. Tests performed in this study show that the proposed model emulsion is stable, having similar characteristics to those observed in crude oil emulsions, and may be suitable for other hydrate studies.