Multiscale investigation of CH4/CO2 hydrates in sediment: CH4 recovery and CO2 storage

Natural gas hydrates (NGHs) have extensive reserve and exploitation of NGHs is an alternative to meet global energy demand.

The purpose of this project is to achieve efficient and economical exploitation of NGHs.


NGHs are ice-like crystalline compounds that formed by water molecules and typical gas molecules like methane (CH4). NGHs attract worldwide attention for abundant reserve in marine sediments and permafrost regions.


Single exploitation methods of NGHs include depressurization, thermal stimulation, inhibition injection and CH4-CO2 swapping. CH4-CO2 swapping is commonly recognized with win-win situation for both CH4 recovery to meet energy requirement, and CO2 sequestration as part of the emerging industry of carbon capture and storage (CCS).


Primary issue regarding CH4-CO2 swapping is inefficient methane recovery from NGHs and thus swapping-based combination methods become a need to address this issue. Additionally, economic evaluation on NGHs exploitation is crucial to make exploitation technology applicable in the field.


Two swapping-based combination methods - depressurization assisted swapping and inhibitor injection assisted swapping will be employed, respectively, with the objective to further improve methane recovery from NGHs.


The mechanism of methane recovery enhancement will be illustrated. Methane recovery efficiency, CO2 sequestration efficiency and energy return on investment were compared and analysed in different exploitation scenarios. The present PhD project aims to achieve an efficient and economical mode of methane recovery from NGHs.


This research project will not only promote the development of emerging exploitation technologies but also provide a guidance for economic evaluation on NGHs exploitation industry of clean energy recovery and greenhouse gas sequestration.


Related Phd projects:

Methane production and carbon capture through hydrate swapping - Meng Shi

Carbon Neutral Energy Production by Hydrate Swapping - Jyoti Shanker Pandey


Main supervisor:

Nicolas von Solms


Co- supervisor:
Alexander Shapiro


Qian Ouyang
Research Assistant
DTU Chemical Engineering


Alexander Chapiro
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 28 81


Nicolas von Solms
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 28 67