Table of Contents
Journal of Thermodynamics
Volume 2010, Article ID 452326, 13 pages
Research Article

Laboratory-Scale Experiments of the Methane Hydrate Dissociation Process in a Porous Media and Numerical Study for the Estimation of Permeability in Methane Hydrate Reservoir

1National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan
2Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Toho University, Funabashi, Chiba 134-8540, Japan
3Earth and Environmental Science Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA

Received 3 August 2009; Accepted 1 December 2009

Academic Editor: Costas Tsouris

Copyright © 2010 Yasuhide Sakamoto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An experimental study of the dissociation of methane hydrate (MH) by hot-water injection and depressurization was carried out at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). These experiments helped us understand some important aspects of MH behavior such as how temperature, pressure, and permeability change during dissociation and gas production. In order to understand the experimental results, a model of MH dissociation in a porous media was designed and implemented in a numerical simulator. In the model, we treated the MH phase as a two-component system by representing the pore space occupied by MH as a separate component. Absolute permeability and relative permeability were formulated as a function of MH saturation, porosity, and sand grain diameter and introduced into the numerical model. Using the developed numerical simulator, we attempted history matching of laboratory-scale experiments of the MH dissociation process. It was found that numerical simulator was able to reproduce temperature change, permeability characteristics, and gas production behavior associated with both MH formation and dissociation.