Antifreezes act as catalysts for methane hydrate formation from ice

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Journal titleAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Pages1042910433; # of pages: 5
SubjectMethanol; Molecular dynamics; Gas uptake; Methane hydrates; Powder X ray diffraction; Hydrates
AbstractContrary to the thermodynamic inhibiting effect of methanol on methane hydrate formation from aqueous phases, hydrate forms quickly at high yield by exposing frozen water-methanol mixtures with methanol concentrations ranging from 0.6-10 wt% to methane gas at pressures from 125 bars at 253 K. Formation rates are some two orders of magnitude greater than those obtained for samples without methanol and conversion of ice is essentially complete. Ammonia has a similar catalytic effect when used in concentrations of 0.3-2.7 wt%. The structure I methane hydrate formed in this manner was characterized by powder X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. Steps in the possible mechanism of action of methanol were studied with molecular dynamics simulations of the Ih (0001) basal plane exposed to methanol and methane gas. Simulations show that methanol from a surface aqueous layer slowly migrates into the ice lattice. Methane gas is preferentially adsorbed into the aqueous methanol surface layer. Possible consequences of the catalytic methane hydrate formation on hydrate plug formation in gas pipelines, on large scale energy-efficient gas hydrate formation, and in planetary science are discussed.
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AffiliationNational Research Council - EXEC; National Research Council Canada; Security and Disruptive Technologies
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21272664
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Record identifier946fcd26-4c59-4998-b55d-0413c180e5d5
Record created2014-12-03
Record modified2016-05-09
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