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J Phys Chem B. 2014 Jul 31;118(30):9065-75. doi: 10.1021/jp503435t. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Synergistic hydrate inhibition of monoethylene glycol with poly(vinylcaprolactam) in thermodynamically underinhibited system.

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Division of Ocean Systems Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) , Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea.


This study investigates the hydrate inhibition performance of monoethylene glycol (MEG) with poly(vinylcaprolactam) (PVCap) for retarding the hydrate onset as well as preventing the agglomeration of hydrate particles. A high-pressure autoclave was used to determine the hydrate onset time, subcooling temperature, hydrate fraction in the liquid phase, and torque changes during hydrate formation in pure water, 0.2 wt % PVCap solution, and 20 and 30 wt % MEG solutions. In comparison to water with no inhibitors, the addition of PVCap delays the hydrate onset time but cannot reduce the hydrate fraction, leading to a sharp increase in torque. The 20 and 30 wt % MEG solutions also delay the hydrate onset time slightly and reduce the hydrate fraction to 0.15. The addition of 0.2 wt % PVCap to the 20 wt % MEG solution, however, delays the hydrate onset time substantially, and the hydrate fraction was less than 0.19. The torque changes were negligible during the hydrate formation, suggesting the homogeneous dispersion of hydrate particles in the liquid phase. The well-dispersed hydrate particles do not agglomerate or deposit under stirring. Moreover, when 0.2 wt % PVCap was added to the 30 wt % MEG solution, no hydrate formation was observed for at least 24 h. These results suggest that mixing of MEG with a small amount of PVCap in underinhibited conditions will induce the synergistic inhibition of hydrate by delaying the hydrate onset time as well as preventing the agglomeration and deposition of hydrate particles. Decreasing the hydrate fraction in the liquid phase might be the reason for negligible torque changes during the hydrate formation in the 0.2 wt % PVCap and 20 wt % MEG solution. Simple structure II was confirmed by in situ Raman spectroscopy for the synergistic inhibition system, while coexisting structures I and II are observed in 0.2 wt % PVCap solution.

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