Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol.50, No.1, 188-197, 2011
Surface Chemistry and Gas Hydrates in Flow Assurance
A review of surface chemistry concepts is presented, with the principal objective of identifying interfacial phenomena and surface chemistry interactions involved in gas hydrate formation and agglomeration in oil and gas pipelines. There are five types of interfaces where gas hydrates may form and aggregate: gas/liquid, liquid/liquid, gas/solid, liquid/solid, and solid/solid; where the gas is the hydrocarbon gas, liquid is either oil, water, or condensate, and solid is either gas hydrate or the pipe wall surface. A review of fundamental interfacial concepts can help create a better understanding of phenomena at these interfaces, and can help industry move from hydrate prevention to risk management. Two areas of surface chemistry have been selected to illustrate the concepts and mechanisms associated with these systems: surfactants and emulsions. Examples from the literature pertaining to gas hydrates are presented for each system.