Research progress on exploitation of natural gas hydrates in Wuhan Institute of Geotechnical Engineering

Natural gas hydrate, commonly known as “flammable ice,” is a highly efficient and clean energy source with huge reserves. Exploration data shows that the coastal seabed of China is rich in natural gas hydrate resources, and the amount of natural gas hydrate resources in the South China Sea alone reaches 70 billion tons, which is equivalent to one-half of China’s proven natural gas resources. China successfully tested the natural gas hydrate (burnable ice) in the first sea area in May 2017. This indicates that the development and utilization of natural gas hydrates in China is at the forefront of the world, but the related technology and methods cannot meet the needs of commercial exploitation.

In recent years, Wei Changfu, a researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, focused on the key scientific and technological issues related to rock and gas mechanics and engineering in the exploitation of natural gas hydrates, and developed the mechanical and engineering characteristics of natural gas-hydrated soils. The research has resulted in a series of research results: (1) Development of a self-developed gas hydrate phase equilibrium tester, a gas-containing hydrate sediment simulator, a high-pressure triaxial apparatus containing natural gas hydrates, and a gas hydrate deposit containing NMR Resonance systems and other experimental instruments and equipment have pioneered the establishment of an experimental and test platform for physical and mechanical properties of natural gas hydrate deposits with independent intellectual property rights in China; (2) Experimental methods and techniques, based on the principle of supersaturation of gases in solution, The low-temperature super-saturated water circulation method solves the key problem of simulating the rapid formation and sample preparation of hydrate-bearing deposits in the subsea diffusion mode. The nuclear magnetic resonance method was used to systematically test the phase transitions of tetrahydrofuran and carbon dioxide hydrate in soil pores, and the NMR measurement methods and techniques for the determination of hydrates in sediments were initially mastered and explored. The process of hydrate formation and decomposition was realized. (3) In experimental and theoretical studies, the equilibrium conditions of CO2 hydrates in pure CO2 hydrate and different dry densities were measured, and different dry density powders were analyzed and studied. The characteristics of the soil's influence on the equilibrium conditions of the hydrate phase, and the characteristics of the influence of sediment on the hydrate phase transition were ascertained. Further, based on the traditional van der Waals-Platteeuw phase equilibrium model, a phase equilibrium model that can consider the pore size and distribution characteristics of the sediments is proposed, so that the traditional hydrate phase equilibrium two-dimensional PT curve is extended to the characterization. Three-dimensional curves of temperature, pressure, and hydrate saturation. (4) Triaxial shear experiments with natural gas hydrate samples were carried out to reveal the stress-strain relationship characteristics of hydrated soil samples, and the effects of hydrates on the strength indices of sediments were explored. Damage constitutive model of natural gas hydrate containing soils; (5) A fully coupled numerical analysis method for multi-field coupling of hydrate formations under mining disturbances is proposed, relevant calculation and analysis procedures are developed, and the process of hydrate extraction is developed. Perform simulations.

The research results have important theoretical and engineering significance for improving the technical level of hydrate development and utilization. The above work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China Key Projects, Faces and Youth Funds, the Important Direction of Knowledge Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Young Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the State Key Laboratory of Geotechnical Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering, and has obtained the national patent patent for invention 6 The related research results were published in Applied Magnetic Resonance, Cold Regions Science and Technology, Journal of Petroleum Science & Engineering, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Journal of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Geotechnical Engineering, and other domestic and foreign journals.

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