Determination of pore-scale hydrate phase equilibria in sediments using lab-on-a-chip technology
We present an experimental protocol for fast determination of hydrate stability in porous media for a range of pressure and temperature (P, T) conditions. Using a lab-on-a-chip approach, we gain direct optical access to dynamic pore-scale hydrate formation and dissociation events to study the hydrate phase equilibria in sediments. Optical pore-scale observations of phase behavior reproduce the theoretical hydrate stability line with methane gas and distilled water, and demonstrate the accuracy of the new method. The procedure is applicable for any kind of hydrate transitions in sediments, and may be used to map gas hydrate stability zones in nature.