Photo: Christian Ove Carlsson

Christine Malmos Perfeldt defended her PhD thesis

Friday 16 Oct 15
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Nicolas von Solms
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+4545 25 28 67
October 15, Christine Malmos Perfeldt defended her PhD thesis entitled “Inhibition of Gas Hydrate Formation by Antifreeze Proteins”. The project was part of the BioRec (Biotechnology in Enhanced Oil Recovery) program which was funded by DTU, the Innovation Fund Denmark, Maersk Oil, DONG Energy, the Danish Technological Institute, and Roskilde University.

Formation of gas hydrates is the leading flow assurance challenge in the oil and gas industry.

Traditionally, large amounts of thermodynamic inhibitors have been used, but safety and environmental concerns have initiated an interest in kinetic inhibitors, which show effects at much lower dosages.

The project investigated the effect of a proposed alternative type of environmentally benign kinetic inhibitors, namely anti-freeze proteins (AFP) from the beetle Rhagium mordax (RmAFP1).
RmAFP1 has been experimentally investigated in a methane hydrate inhibition study where it was found that RmAFP1 performed as effectively as PVP, a known synthetic hydrate inhibitor.

In addition, a natural gas hydrate inhibition study was conducted in order to simulate more realistic conditions. Here, RmAFP1 showed a tendency to inhibit hydrate nucleation better than LuvicapBio, another synthetic inhibitor. These results suggest that RmAFP1 has a unique structure that could represent a new class of hydrate inhibitors.

Finally, the influence of a hydrophobic surface on hydrate formation was studied. The following relationship was found: a lower solid surface tension meant less work of adhesion which resulted in less observed hydrate growth. The significant impact of the hydrophobic surface indicates that it could serve as a potential hydrate mitigation approach in the oil and gas industry.