Fluid Mechanics of Environmentally Significant Hydrate Slurries

This project is to develop proof-of-concept experimental data for an extramural proposal submission to the U.S. Department of Energy on the fluid mechanical properties of hydrate slurries. Hydrates have the potential for high-density storage of light hydrocarbons, for safely tapping the reserves of low-carbon fuel sources trapped in deep oceans, and for sequestering CO2. All of these processes, and in particularly evaluating their viability and potential environmental impact, depends on exploring methods for efficiently transporting the hydrates.

The W.M. Keck Foundation has granted $1 million to UC Irvine to build a campus laboratory in which UCI researchers, led by Dunn-Rannkin and Taborek,  can explore the potential of using the deep ocean’s low-temperature and high-pressure conditions to generate carbon-free power from methane hydrates. See January 2013 UCIrvine News article.

Project P.I.: 
Derek Dunn-Rankin (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) and Peter Taborek (Physics)