An apparatus to study the decomposition of gas hydrates, upon pressure reduction at temperatures above 0 deg. C, was designed and constructed. Measurements were made of decompositon rates under conditions where thermal effects could be minimized. By means of material balance calculations, the amount of hydrate remaining in the ice-water-hydrate mixture could be continuously followed as the gas pressure above the hydrate was rapidly reduced to below the equilibrium value. The study shows that with a large excess of water to supply the endothermic heat of decomposition, the methane hydrate decomposes smoothly and rapidly with very little remaining after one minute at atmospheric pressure.
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