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Chemical Engineering Department


High Pressure Micro DSC VIIa

The Micro DSC VIIa was installed in June of 2005. This instrument is used primarily to study gas hydrate phase equilibrium, kinetics, and thermal properties. The DSC can achieve temperatures of -45ºC to 120ºC which allows for a broad range of measurements. The low temperatures do not require outside cooling as the system use a Peltier device for cooling at the lower temperatures. The temperatures can be held constant or can also be placed in scanning mode over a range of temperatures. The calorimetric box also completely surrounds the cells so that sensitive changes in the experiment can be measured.

The DSC is also coupled with a high pressure panel that allows for a maximum pressure of 400 bar. The cells used for the high pressure panel can hold 0.5 cc of material compared to 1.0 cc for the atmospheric pressure cells. The panel uses a single stage compression unit to compress the gases to the desired pressure. The panel also can be used to introduce binary gases into the DSC for measurements. This is accomplished by using the gas densities and the double inlets on the panel to mix certain compositions of gases.

Currently, the DSC and high pressure panel are being used to investigate the thermal properties of methane hydrates (heat capacity and heat of dissociation) at different temperature ranges and varying pressures. Also, the effect of temperature, pressure, and binary gases on agglomeration of hydrate particles is being analyzed for a shut-in type scenario sense no mixing is incorporated into the DSC cells. Anti-agglomerates will also be used to measure their factors on hydrate formation and dissociation.