Unraveling the Role of Natural Sediments in sII Mixed Gas Hydrate Formation: An Experimental Study
Considering the ever-increasing interests in natural gas hydrates, a better and more precise knowledge of how host sediments interact with hydrates and affect the formation process is crucial. Yet less is reported for the effects of sediments on structure II hydrate formation with complex guest compositions. In this study, experimental simulations were performed based on the natural reservoir in Qilian Mountain permafrost in China (QMP) due to its unique properties. Mixed gas hydrates containing CH 4 , C 2 H 6 , C 3 H 8 , and CO 2 were synthesized with the presence of natural sediments from QMP, with quartz sands, and without sediments under identical p–T conditions. The promoting effects of sediments regardless of the grain size and species were confirmed on hydrate formation kinetics. The ice-to-hydrate conversion rate with quartz sand and natural QMP sediments increased by 23.5% and 32.7%, respectively. The compositions of the initial hydrate phase varied, but the difference became smaller in the resulting hydrate phases, having reached a steady state. Beside the structure II hydrate phase, another coexisting solid phase, neither ice nor structure I hydrate, was observed in the system with QMP sediments, which was inferred as an amorphous hydrate phase. These findings are essential to understand the mixed gas hydrates in QMP and may shed light on other natural hydrate reservoirs with complex gas compositions.