Rapid hydrogen hydrate growth from non-stoichiometric tuning mixtures during liquid nitrogen quenching

J Chem Phys. 2012 Jun 21;136(23):234504. doi: 10.1063/1.4729473.


In this study the rapid growth of sII H(2) hydrate within 20 min of post formation quenching towards liquid nitrogen (LN(2)) temperature is presented. Initially at 72 MPa and 258 K, hydrate samples would cool to the conditions of ~60 MPa and ~90 K after quenching. Although within the stability region for H(2) hydrate, new hydrate growth only occurred under LN(2) quenching of the samples when preformed hydrate "seeds" of THF + H(2) were in the presence of unconverted ice. The characterization of hydrate seeds and the post-quenched samples was performed with confocal Raman spectroscopy. These results suggest that quenching to LN(2) temperature, a common preservation technique for ex situ hydrate analysis, can lead to rapid unintended hydrate growth. Specifically, guest such as H(2) that may otherwise need sufficiently long induction periods to nucleate, may still experience rapid growth through an increased kinetic effect from a preformed hydrate template.