Modeling the Effects of Three-Dimensional Pore Geometry on Gas Hydrate Phase Stability
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Porous media affect hydrate stability by forcing hydrate-liquid interfaces to form high curvature geometries and by forcing the molecules of the hydrate, liquid, and sedimentary particles that compose the medium to interact where they are in close proximity. To evaluate these effects we first create synthetic spherical packings to approximate pore space geometry. We use the synthetic pore space to calculate the perturbation to the chemical potential caused by the geometrical constraints. Our model predictions agree with published data for ice-water and water-vapor systems. When particles are well-approximated as spheres, our model fits the data with R-squared values that range between about 80% to over 99%. However, our model needs to be improved for porous media that contain a significant fraction of non-equant particles such as clay. Lastly, we demonstrate how our model can be used in predictions for the evolution of hydrate saturation. This thesis includes unpublished co-authored material.