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J Phys Chem B. 2008 Aug 21;112(33):10207-16. doi: 10.1021/jp802942v. Epub 2008 Jul 25.

Molecular dynamics simulations of the thermal conductivity of methane hydrate.

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National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Post Office Box 10940, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15236, USA.


Nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations with the nonpolarizable SPC/E (Berendsen et al., J. Phys. Chem. 1987, 91, 6269) and the polarizable COS/G2 (Yu and van Gunsteren, J. Chem. Phys. 2004, 121, 9549) force fields have been employed to calculate the thermal conductivity and other associated properties of methane hydrate over a temperature range from 30 to 260 K. The calculated results are compared to experimental data over this same range. The values of the thermal conductivity calculated with the COS/G2 model are closer to the experimental values than are those calculated with the nonpolarizable SPC/E model. The calculations match the temperature trend in the experimental data at temperatures below 50 K; however, they exhibit a slight decrease in thermal conductivity at higher temperatures in comparison to an opposite trend in the experimental data. The calculated thermal conductivity values are found to be relatively insensitive to the occupancy of the cages except at low (T<or=50 K) temperatures, which indicates that the differences between the two lattice structures may have a more dominant role than generally thought in explaining the low thermal conductivity of methane hydrate compared to ice Ih. The introduction of defects into the water lattice is found to cause a reduction in the thermal conductivity but to have a negligible impact on its temperature dependence.


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