The influence of corrosion inhibitors on hydrate formation temperature along the subsea natural gas pipelines
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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 120 (2014). DOI: 10.1016/j.petrol.2014.05.025
Pipeline industry annually invests millions of dollar on corrosion inhibitors in order to minimize corrosion׳s implication on flow assurance; however, attention has never been focused on the possibilities of these chemicals to promote hydrate formation along deepwater pipeline which is also a flow assurance problem. Five inhibitors were investigated in this study at different concentrations and pressures in a cryogenic sapphire cell at static condition. The changes in the formation temperature established that all the inhibitors promote hydrate but at different rates while their hydrate formation patterns also differ from one another. Their ability to promote hydrate could be attributed to their hydrogen bonding properties which is required for hydrate formation. Also, the difference in the promotion rate is attributed to their different sizes and structures, active functional groups and affinity for water molecules which determine the type of hydrogen bonding exhibited by each inhibitor while in solution. The structure and size of each inhibitor also affect its electronegativity and ionization energy since the active electrons of some of the inhibitors have direct exposure to the nucleus while for others; the active electrons at the outermost shell have been shielded from direct influence of the attractive force. Furthermore, the active functional groups obeys electronegativity trend of periodic table to determine whether the resulting bond type will be polar ionic, covalent or ionic with some covalent characteristic in nature. Though, all the inhibitors are foamy; dodecylpyridinium chloride (DPC) was however the foamiest. DPC also exhibited its highest promotion ability at 200 ppm and exhibited specific behaviour at 5000 ppm to suggest a change in the hydrate formation rate beyond the Critical Micelles Concentration (CMC). Again, increase in agitation rate prolonged the complete solidification time of the hydrates probably due to the gas solubility. Finally, the feasibility of using this chemical as an additive at high concentrations for natural gas transportation and storage in slurry form was observed due to some exhibited properties, this however requires further investigations.
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