Based on the investigations in the past years, it has been recognized that methane hydrates in Nankai Trough primarily occur in turbidite sediments (Fujii et al. 2005; Uchida et al., 2005). Turbidite is composed of a set of sediments, generally becoming finer upward in particle size, from coarse sand to clay (Bouma, 1962). In natural environment the formation of methane hydrate will be inevitably subject to the influence of sediments, so the modes of gas hydrate formation and occurrence might be different in the sediments with various particle sizes and mineral compositions. The elucidation of this issue, how sediments affect methane hydrate formation and occurrence will help in efficient hydrate exploration, accurate estimation of hydrate reserve, and the design of hydrate production method. In this research, we especially studied the particle size effect on the water conversion degree to hydrate using a set of powdered silica particles with the size from medium silt (<20 μm) to medium sand (250 ~ 500 μm). The test specimens were saturated with 3.5% NaCl solution, simulating the interstitial water of marine sediments, and reacted with methane gas at the pressure of ~ 10 MPa and temperature of 3° C. The water conversion degree to hydrate in a test specimen was estimated with the amount of gas that was clathrated in hydrate. The obtained results indicate a clear relationship between water conversion degree to hydrate and particle size: only 3.2 % when particle size is <20 μm, increasing dramatically from 5.7% to 82.8 % when particle size changes from ~30 μm (coarse silt) to ~200 μm (fine sand), and almost stable at ~ 80% when particle size is > 250 μm (medium sand). Because the test materials are all silica, the difference in water conversion degree to hydrate should be resulted from physical properties of silica particle, specific surface area, and/or the property confined by silica particle, pore size. This study was carried out as a part of Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (MH21).
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 1042 Mineral and crystal chemistry (3620);
- 1051 Sedimentary geochemistry