Mechanical Destabilization and Cage Transformations in Water Vacancy- Contained CO2 Hydrates

JJ Liu and R Fu and YW Lin and Q Shi and YS Liu and T Li and ZS Zhang and JY Wu, ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING (2022).

DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.2c03072

Clathrate hydrates show wide applications in energy recovery and storage, CO2 capture and storage, and other sustainable technologies. Water vacancy in clathrate hydrates is a common defect; however, its effects on the mechanical properties of clathrate hydrates, especially CO2 hydrates, have not been well studied. Herein, the mechanical characteristics of CO2 hydrates with three different types of water vacancy defects are investigated for the first time through molecular dynamics simulations with several popular water force fields. It turns out that the mechanical properties of CO2 clathrate hydrate vary with the type of water vacancy and water force field. Upon critical strains, a variety of unconventional cages of 4(2)5(8)6(2), 4(2)5(8)6(3), 4(2)5(8)6(4), 4(1)5(10)6(2), 4(1)5(10)6(3), and 4(1)5(10)6(4) form, of which 4(1)5(10)6(2) predominates and is identified to be transient and a clathrate intermediate in forming 4(2)5(8)6(2), 4(2)5(8)6(3), and 4(2)5(8)6(4). Moreover, diverse cage transformations of 5(12)6(2) & harr; 4(1)5(10)6(3), & harr; 4(1)5(10)6(2), & harr; 4(2)5(8)6(3), & harr; 4(2)5(8)6(4) and 5(12 )& harr; 4(1)5(10)6(2), & harr; 4(2)5(8)6(2) occur via two distinct transformation mechanisms including insertion/ removal and rotation of a pair of water molecules. This study provides new perspectives on the mechanics and microstructural transformations of CO2 hydrate, which are crucial for evaluating the formation and mechanical stability of CO2 hydrate-bearing sediments as well as the CO2 geological storage by hydrate-based technologies.

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