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Gas hydrate inhibition by perturbation of liquid water structure

Year of publication
Title of paper
Gas hydrate inhibition by perturbation of liquid water structure
Author
[이건홍교수 연구실]
Publication in journal
Scientific Reports 5, 11526 (June 2015)
 
[Abstract]
 
Natural gas hydrates are icy crystalline materials that contain hydrocarbons, which are the primary energy source for this civilization. The abundance of naturally occurring gas hydrates leads to a growing interest in exploitation. Despite their potential as energy resources and in industrial applications, there is insufficient understanding of hydrate kinetics, which hinders the utilization of these invaluable resources. Perturbation of liquid water structure by solutes has been proposed to be a key process in hydrate inhibition, but this hypothesis remains unproven. Here, we report the direct observation of the perturbation of the liquid water structure induced by amino acids using polarized Raman spectroscopy, and its influence on gas hydrate nucleation and growth kinetics. Amino acids with hydrophilic and/or electrically charged side chains disrupted the water structure and thus provided effective hydrate inhibition. The strong correlation between the extent of perturbation by amino acids and their inhibition performance constitutes convincing evidence for the perturbation inhibition mechanism. The present findings bring the practical applications of gas hydrates significantly closer, and provide a new perspective on the freezing and melting phenomena of naturally occurring gas hydrates.
 
doi:10.1038/srep11526