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J Phys Chem B. 2005 Oct 20;109(41):19090-3.

NMR/MRI study of clathrate hydrate mechanisms.

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  • 1Chemical Engineering Department, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77251, USA.


Clathrate hydrates are of great importance in many aspects. However, hydrate formation and dissociation mechanisms, essential to all hydrate applications, are still not well understood due to the limitations of experimental techniques capable of providing dynamic and structural information on a molecular level. NMR has been shown to be a powerful tool to noninvasively measure molecular level dynamic information. In this work, we measured nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spin lattice relaxation times (T1's) of tetrahydrofuran (THF) in liquid deuterium oxide (D2O) during THF hydrate formation and dissociation. At the same time, we also used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to monitor hydrate formation and dissociation patterns. The results showed that solid hydrate significantly influences coexisting fluid structure. Molecular evidence of residual structure was identified. Hydrate formation and dissociation mechanisms were proposed based on the NMR/MRI observations.

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