Clathrate hydrate

related topics
{acid, form, water}
{math, energy, light}
{island, water, area}
{service, military, aircraft}
{water, park, boat}
{village, small, smallsup}
{theory, work, human}

Clathrate hydrates (or gas clathrates, gas hydrates, clathrates, hydrates, etc.) are crystalline water-based solids physically resembling ice, in which small non polar molecules (typically gases) are trapped inside "cages" of hydrogen bonded water molecules. In other words, clathrate hydrates are clathrate compounds in which the host molecule is water and the guest molecule is typically a gas. Without the support of the trapped molecules, the lattice structure of hydrate clathrates would collapse into conventional ice crystal structure or liquid water. Most low molecular weight gases (including O2, H2, N2, CO2, CH4, H2S, Ar, Kr, and Xe), as well as some higher hydrocarbons and freons will form hydrates at suitable temperatures and pressures. Clathrate hydrates are not chemical compounds as the sequestered molecules are never bonded to the lattice. The formation and decomposition of clathrate hydrates are first order phase transitions, not chemical reactions. Their detailed formation and decomposition mechanisms on a molecular level are still not well understood.[1][2] Clathrate hydrates were first documented in 1810 by Sir Humphry Davy.[3]

Clathrates have been found to occur naturally in large quantities. Around 6.4 trillion (i.e. 6.4x1012) tonnes of methane is trapped in deposits of methane clathrate on the deep ocean floor.[4] Such deposits can be found on the Norwegian continental shelf in the northern headwall flank of the Storegga Slide. Clathrates can also exist as permafrost, as at the Mallik gas hydrate field in the Mackenzie Delta of northwestern Canadian Arctic. These natural gas hydrates are seen as a potentially vast energy resource, but an economical extraction method has so far proven elusive. Hydrocarbon clathrates cause problems for the petroleum industry, because they can form inside gas pipelines often resulting in plug formation. Deep sea deposition of carbon dioxide clathrate has been proposed as a method to remove this greenhouse gas from the atmosphere and control climate change.

Clathrates are suspected to occur in large quantities on some outer planets, moons and trans-Neptunian objects, binding gas at fairly high temperatures.

Full article ▸

related documents
Alpha helix
Miller-Urey experiment
Solid-state chemistry
Disulfide bond
Acid–base reaction
Agarose gel electrophoresis
Chemical vapor deposition
Osmium tetroxide
Halogen lamp
Neutron activation analysis
Ammonium nitrate
Genetic code
Complex (chemistry)
Materials science
Vapor pressure