Clathrate hydrate is considered to be a potential medium for gas storage and transportation. Slow kinetics of hydrate formation is a hindrance to the commercialized process development of such applications. The kinetics of methane hydrate formation from the reaction of ice powder and methane gas doped with/without saturated ethanol vapor at constant pressure of 16.55 ± 0.20 MPa and constant temperature ranging from −15 to −1.0 °C were investigated. The methane hydrate formation can be dramatically accelerated by simply doping ethanol into methane gas with ultralow ethanol concentration (<94 ppm by mole fraction) in the gas phase. For ethanol-doped system 80.1% of ice powder were converted into methane hydrate after a reaction time of 4 h, while only 26.6% of ice powder was converted into methane hydrate after a reaction time of 24 h when pure methane gas was used. Furthermore, this trace amount of ethanol could also substantially suppress the self-preservation effect to enhance the dissociation rate of methane hydrate (operated at 1 atm and temperatures below the ice melting point). In other words, a trace amount of ethanol doped in methane gas can act as a kinetic promoter for both the methane hydrate formation and dissociation.
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