Adhesion force interactions between cyclopentane hydrate and physically and chemically modified surfaces

Zach Aman, E.D. Sloan, A. Sum, C. Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


© the Partner Organisations 2014. Interfacial interactions between liquid-solid and solid-solid phases/surfaces are of fundamental importance to the formation of hydrate deposits in oil and gas pipelines. This work establishes the effect of five categories of physical and chemical modification to steel on clathrate hydrate adhesive force: oleamide, graphite, citric acid ester, nonanedithiol, and Rain-X anti-wetting agent. Hydrate adhesive forces were measured using a micromechanical force apparatus, under both dry and water-wet surface conditions. The results show that the graphite coating reduced hydrate-steel adhesion force by 79%, due to an increase in the water wetting angle from 42 ± 8° to 154 ± 7°. Two chemical surface coatings (nonanedithiol and the citric acid ester) induced rapid hydrate growth in the hydrate particles; nonanedithiol increased hydrate adhesive force by 49% from the baseline, while the citric acid ester coating reduced hydrate adhesion force by 98%. This result suggests that crystal growth may enable a strong adhesive pathway between hydrate and other crystalline structures, however this effect may be negated in cases where water-hydrocarbon interfacial tension is minimised. When a liquid water droplet was placed on the modified steel surfaces, the graphite and citric acid ester became less effective at reducing adhesive force. In pipelines containing a free water phase wetting the steel surface, chemical or physical surface modifications alone may be insufficient to eliminate hydrate deposition risk. In further tests, the citric acid ester reduced hydrate cohesive forces by 50%, suggesting mild activity as a hybrid anti-agglomerant suppressing both hydrate deposition and particle agglomeration. These results demonstrate a new capability to develop polyfunctional surfactants, which simultaneously limit the capability for hydrate particles to aggregate and deposit on the pipeline wall. This journal is
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25121-25128
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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