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Prevent system hydrate formation during sudden depressurization

03.20.2006  |  Asadi Zeydabadi, B.,  Namvaran Management and Engineering, IranHaghshenas, M.,  Namvaran Management and Engineering, IranMoshfeghian, M.,  Shiraz University, Shiraz, IranRoshani, S.,  Petrochemical Industries Design & Engineering Co., PIDEC, Shiraz, Iran

Using this technique can help size gas plant inhibitor packages


A hydrate is a physical combination of water (H2O) and other small molecules producing a solid, which has an ice-like appearance but possesses a different molecular structure. Formation in gas and/or natural gas liquid (NGL) systems can plug pipelines, equipment and instruments, and restrict or interrupt flows. There are three crystalline structures for hydrates. In each, H2O molecules – host molecules – build the lattice, and hydrocarbons, nitrogen (N2), xenon (Xe), argon (Ar), carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) – guest molecules – occupy the cavities. Smaller molecules such as methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6), CO2 and H2S stabilize the body-centered cubic called Structure I. Larger molecules propane (C3H8), isobutane (iso-C4H10) and n-butane (n-C4H10) form a diamond-lattice called Structure II. Molecules larger than n-C4H10 do not form hydrates as they are too large to stabilize the lattice.1

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