In this paper we investigate experimentally the effect of surfactants on the formation kinetics of methane hydrate. The compounds tested include: anionic, cationic and nonionic surfactants. Experimental results indicate that surfactants (at concentrations levels near their CMC) do not influence the thermodynamics, however, they have a strong influence on the kinetics of gas dissolution in the water phase as well as on the overall rate of hydrate formation. In addition, the formed hydrate particles in the presence of the various surfactants exhibit diverse agglomeration characteristics. This work is part of an overall effort to develop the technology required for the safe operation of offshore oil and gas transportation pipelines without inhibitors.

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