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Keywords:

  • hydrate;
  • nucleation;
  • crystal growth;
  • induction time;
  • subcooling

Induction time distributions for gas hydrate formation were measured for gas mixtures of methane + propane at pressures up to 11.3 MPa using a high-pressure automated lag time apparatus (HP-ALTA). Measurements were made at subcooling temperatures between 4.3 and 13.5 K and, while isothermal induction times between 0 and 15,000 s were observed, the median isothermal induction times for the distributions ranged from 100 to 4000 s. A hyperbolic relationship between median induction time and subcooling was used to correlate the data. A graphical interpretation is presented that relates the two types of data that can be acquired by using the HP-ALTA in one of two modes to study hydrate formation: induction time distributions at constant subcooling and formation temperature distributions observed during linear cooling ramps. The equivalence of these two modes provides a robust method for studying the variation of formation phenomena in different hydrate systems. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 2640–2646, 2013