NOVEL NANOTECHNOLOGY FOR EFFICIENT PRODUCTION OF BINARY CLATHRATE HYDRATES OF HYDROGEN AND OTHER COMPOUNDS Di Profio, Pietro; Arca, Simone; Germani, Raimondo; Savelli, Gianfranco
The efficient production of hydrogen hydrates is a major goal in the attempt to exploit those materials as an alternative means for storing hydrogen. Up to now, a few processes have been reported in the literature which yield less than 1 wt% of hydrogen stored into clathrate hydrate or semi-clathrate forms. One main obstacle to the entrapment of sensible amounts of hydrogen (i.e., up to 4 wt% ) into a clathrate matrix appears to be of a kinetic origin, in that the mass transfer of hydrogen gas into clathrate structures is drastically limited by the (relatively) macroscopic scale of the gas-liquid or gas-ice interfaces involved. In this communication, we present a novel process for an enhanced production of binary hydrates of hydrogen and other hydrate-forming gases, which is characterized by the use of nanotechnology for reducing the size of hydrate particles down to a few nanometers. This drastic reduction of particle size, down to three orders of magnitude smaller than that obtainable by macroscopic methods, allows to reduce the kinetic hindrance to hydrate formation. This process has a huge potential for increasing the amount of hydrogen stored, as it has provided ca. 1 wt% of hydrogen, with THF as a co-former. The present process also allows to use several non-water soluble coformers; first reports of hydrogen/cyclopentane and hydrogen/tetrahydrothiophene hydrates are presented.
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