Gas Hydrate Laboratory

Gas hydrate formation, inhibition & recovery

  • Gas hydrates (Clathrates) are non stoichiometric, crystalline, inclusion compound formed by water and small gas molecules like methane, carbon dioxide or high volatile hydrocarbon like THF. The gas hydrates are formed when gas and water mixtures are subjected to high pressure and/or low temperature conditions. These conditions are frequently encountered in subsurface environments of deep sea sediments and permafrost regions. Thus methane and other natural gas hydrates are found stored in the earth in large quantities. High concentration of methane in natural gas hydrates are potentially a huge energy resource and puts it at par with other conventional fuel resource like coal and oil reservoirs. Thus developing methods for commercial production of natural gas hydrates is of enormous economic and strategic importance for India. Thanks to the efforts of NGHP program of Government of India, gas hydrates are known to occur in numerous marine environment around Indian offshore. Our research focus is to simulate hydrate formation in sediments at laboratory in order to develop potential recovery methods. Macro level experimental measurement for gas hydrate formation and decomposition kinetics to molecular level characterization of gas hydrate sample through different analytical techniques are routinely carried out in the group. Understanding of gas hydrate stability and kinetics is also done by employing molecular dynamic simulation. It is also of our interest to understand and develop suitable additives for promoting and inhibiting hydrate formation for different application.

Carbon Dioxide Capture, Storage & Utilization

  • Focus is on developing an integrated carbon dioxide capture facility by developing promising technologies that would optimize the capture costs and increase the separation efficiency of the process. Gas hydrate based technology for separation of gas mixture containing carbon dioxide has certain advantages, compared to few well established processes thus making it a promising technology. Final goal is to scaleup this process of gas separation by improving the kinetics of the process by identifying suitable additive. Our group also focuses on studies related to carbon dioxide sequestration as clathrates in the saline aquifers and ocean.

Process Development and scale-up of fine chemicals

  • We are involved in process development by utilizing supercritical fluids, mainly focusing on the sacle-up potential of such processes. One attractive feature of supercritical fluid is that its physical properties lies between that of gases and liquids, it has liquid like desnity (resulting in higher solvating power) and gas like diffusivity (better mass transfer, lower viscosity, lower surface tention). Use of supercritical fluid for material development, as a solvent and as a hydrogen donor species in a reaction is being studied.