Molecular dynamics study on the structure I clathrate-hydrate of methane plus ethane mixture

H Erfan-Niya and H Modarress and E Zaminpayma, ENERGY CONVERSION AND MANAGEMENT, 52, 523-531 (2011).

DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2010.07.027

Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are used to study the structure I stability of methane + ethane clathrate-hydrates at temperatures 273, 275 and 277 K. NVT- and NPT-ensembles are utilized in MD simulation, and each consists of 3 x 3 x 3 replica unit cells containing 46 water molecules which are considered as the host molecules and up to eight methane + ethane molecules considered as the guest molecules. In MD simulations for host-host interactions, the potential model used was a type of simple point charge (SPC) model, and for guest-guest and host- guest interactions the potential used was Lennard-Jones model. In the process of MD simulation, achieving equilibrium of the studied system was recognized by stability in calculated pressure for NVT-ensemble and volume for NPT-ensemble. To understand the characteristic configurations of the structure I hydrate, the radial distribution functions (RDFs) of host-host, host-guest and guest-guest molecules as well as other properties including kinetic energy, potential energy and total energy were calculated. The results show that guest molecules interaction with host molecules cannot decompose the hydrate structure, and these results are consistent with most previous experimental and theoretical investigations that methane + ethane mixtures form structure I hydrates over the entire mixture composition range. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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