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The cages, dynamics, and structuring of incipient methane clathrate hydrates.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21997437     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Interest in describing clathrate hydrate formation mechanisms spans multiple fields of science and technical applications. Here, we report findings from multiple molecular dynamics simulations of spontaneous methane clathrate hydrate nucleation and growth from fully demixed and disordered two-phase fluid systems of methane and water. Across a range of thermodynamic conditions and simulation geometries and sizes, a set of seven cage types comprises approximately 95% of all cages formed in the nucleated solids. This set includes the ubiquitous 5(12) cage, the 5(12)6(n) subset (where n ranges from 2-4), and the 4(1)5(10)6(n) subset (where n also ranges from 2-4). Transformations among these cages occur via water pair insertions/removals and rotations, and may elucidate the mechanisms of solid-solid structural rearrangements observed experimentally. Some consistency is observed in the relative abundance of cages among all nucleation trajectories. 5(12) cages are always among the two most abundant cage types in the nucleated solids and are usually the most abundant cage type. In all simulations, the 5(12)6(n) cages outnumber their 4(1)5(10)6(n) counterparts with the same number of water molecules. Within these consistent features, some stochasticity is observed in certain cage ratios and in the long-range ordering of the nucleated solids. Even when comparing simulations performed at the same conditions, some trajectories yield swaths of multiple adjacent sI unit cells and long-range order over 5 nm, while others yield only isolated sI unit cells and little long-range order. The nucleated solids containing long-range order have higher 5(12)6(2)/5(12) and 5(12)6(3)/4(1)5(10)6(2) cage ratios when compared to systems that nucleate with little long-range order. The formation of multiple adjacent unit cells of sI hydrate at high driving forces suggests an alternative or addition to the prevailing hydrate nucleation hypotheses which involve formation through amorphous intermediates.
Authors:
Matthew R Walsh; J Daniel Rainey; Patrick G Lafond; Da-Hye Park; Gregg T Beckham; Michael D Jones; Kun-Hong Lee; Carolyn A Koh; E Dendy Sloan; David T Wu; Amadeu K Sum
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-10-14
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1463-9084     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100888160     Medline TA:  Phys Chem Chem Phys     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Center for Hydrate Research, Chemical & Biological Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401. asum@mines.edu.
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