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Chemical Engineering Department


Plug Dissociation

The Plug Dissociation apparatus was designed and constructed by Phaneedra Bollavaram in 2000 and consists of a stainless steel cell 36 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. The apparatus is used to create hydrate plugs or hydrate sediment cores that can be dissociated by various methods and the results used to verify mathematical models.

Hydrate samples are either formed from ice particles or from sand saturated with water. The cell is loaded and sealed, immersed in a glycol water bath, and pressurized with the host gas. Hydrate samples take about 5 days to form; the conversion can be estimated from the pressure drop during the experiment and the mass of starting material added to the cell.The dissociation rate is monitored by measuring the gas evolved as a function of time.

Dissociation experiments have been performed with both one- and two-sided depressurization with a fixed bath temperature, and more recently with heating at constant pressure by applying a constant heat flux.