Clathrate hydrates: recent advances on CH4 and CO2 hydrates, and possible new frontiers

Alberto Striolo
2019 Molecular Physics  
Gas hydrates continue to attract enormous attention throughout the energy industry, as both a hindrance in conventional production and a substantial unconventional resource. Scientists continue to be fascinated by hydrates because of their peculiar properties, including the ability of sequestering large amounts of hydrophobic gases, unusual thermal transport properties, and unique molecular structures. From a technological point of view, clathrate hydrates offer potential advantages in
more » ... ons as diverse as natural gas production, carbon sequestration, water desalination and natural gas storage. The communities interested in hydrates span traditional academic disciplines, including earth science, physical chemistry, and petroleum engineering. The studies on this field are equally diverse, including field expeditions to attempt the production of natural gas from hydrate deposits accumulated naturally on the seafloor, to lab-scale studies to attempt to exchange CO2 for the CH4 present in hydrate deposits; from the scale up of water desalination plants to the testing of compounds used to prevent the formation of large hydrate plugs in pipelines; from theoretical studies to understand the stability of hydrates depending on the guest molecules, to molecular simulations to probe nucleation mechanisms. This review highlights a few fundamental questions faced by the research community, with focus on knowledge gaps representing some of the barriers that must be addressed to enable growth in the practical applications of hydrate technology, including natural gas storage, water desalination, CO2 -CH4 exchange in hydrate deposits, and prevention of hydrate plugs in conventional energy transportation.
doi:10.1080/00268976.2019.1646436 fatcat:szrnkid7mbb5rakyrekehczoke