Characterisation of gas hydrates formation using a new high pressure Micro-DSC
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Gas hydrates are solid structures formed from water and gas under low temperature and high pressure conditions. Differential scanning calorimeter, operating under high pressure, is a very useful technique for the determination of the thermodynamic properties and the kinetics of gas hydrate formation. Specific gas tight controlled pressure vessels have to be used to obtain the hydrate formation in complex fluids. Based on the MicroDSC technology, a new High Pressure MicroDSC with a vessel (0.7 cm3) operating up to 400 bars between -45 and 120°C is introduced for this type of research. An example of the use of the HP MicroDSC is given with the formation of gas hydrates in drilling muds. With the increasing number of deep offshore drilling operations, operators and service companies have to solve more and more complex technical challenges. Extreme conditions encountered at these depths require an adaptation of the drilling muds. The range of temperature (down to -1°C) and pressure (up to 400 bars) are favorable conditions to the formation of hydrates. HP MicroDSC is used to determine the thermodynamic properties and kinetics of hydrate formation in mud formulations, particularly in the presence of large amounts of minerals. The technique allows the detection of phase transitions vs. time, temperature and pressure. Using such a technique, dangerous areas of hydrate formation in drilling muds formulations (water-base and oil-base) can be predicted.
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