This paper presents an experimental investigation for application of fluidized bed reactor to natural gas hydrate (NGH) production. Formation of gas hydrate requires the removal of formation heat. In this study, propane gas was used for the reason that propane gas hydrate (PGH) is formed under lower pressure condition than natural gas. Experiments on formation of PGH using fluidized bed reactor were conducted in batch operation and continuous operation. Residence time of powder required for the reduction of unconverted water content was obtained.


Mass transportation of natural gas across oceans presently depends on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) transport system. The LNG transport system is applied for only huge gas fields because it needs an enormous capital investment. Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) has developed a natural gas hydrate pellet transport system applicable even to small and midsized gas fields (Takaoki et al., 2002). The commercial use of NGH system for transport and storage of natural gas needs the technology available for NGH production with high formation rate and for scale up. Gas hydrates have a crystal structure enclosing gas molecules within a lattice-like cage of water molecules. Principal methods of gas hydrate formation currently used are mixing method, bubbling method, spray method and combined method by mixing and bubbling. Gas hydrate formed initially by these methods is slurry. Since free water or remain water is not contribute to gas transport and storage except dissolved gas, application of NGH as a medium of efficient transport and storage requires reduction of water content. There is two concepts in order to reduce the water content in gas hydrate production system. Dehydration process separates solid gas hydrate from free water. Formation process consumes water as raw material of gas hydrate.

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