Inhibiting gas hydrate formation using small molecule ice recrystallization inhibitors
Gas hydrates are ice-like solids containing gas molecules (usually methane) within molecular cavities. Formation of these structures is problematic in high-pressure environments such as gas pipelines and deep-sea drilling operations. In these environments polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP 10) is used to inhibit gas hydrate formation and break-up gas hydrate deposits. Herein, we demonstrate several recently developed small molecule ice recrystallization inhibitors (IRIs) capable of inhibiting the formation of gas hydrates. These small molecule IRIs are cheaper and in many cases, more effective than PVP 10.