Using von Herzen and Maxwell's needle probe method, we measured thermal conductivity in four porous mixtures of quartz sand and methane gas hydrate, with hydrate composing 0, 33, 67 and 100% of the solid volume. Thermal conductivities were measured at a constant methane pore pressure of 24.8 MPa between -20 and +15??C, and at a constant temperature of -10??C between 3.5 and 27.6 MPa methane pore pressure. Thermal conductivity decreased with increasing temperature and increased with increasing methane pore pressure. Both dependencies weakened with increasing hydrate content. Despite the high thermal conductivity of quartz relative to methane hydrate, the largest thermal conductivity was measured in the mixture containing 33% hydrate rather than in hydrate-free sand. This suggests gas hydrate enhanced grain-to-grain heat transfer, perhaps due to intergranular contact growth during hydrate synthesis. These results for gas-filled porous mixtures can help constrain thermal conductivity estimates in porous, gas hydrate-bearing systems.
Additional publication details
Thermal conductivity measurements in porous mixtures of methane hydrate and quartz sand