Ultra-Rapid Uptake and Highly Stable Storage of Methane as Combustible Ice

Ever-increasing natural gas (NG) consumption trends due to its cleanest tag and abundant availability point towards an inevitable transition into an NG dominated economy. Solidified Natural Gas (SNG) storage via combustible ice or clathrate hydrates presents an economically sound prospect, promising high volume density, and long-term storage. Here we establish 1,3-dioxolane (DIOX), as a highly efficient dual-action (thermodynamic and kinetic promoter) additive for clathrate (methane sII) hydrate formation. By synergistically combining a small concentration (300 ppm) of kinetic promoter L-tryptophan with DIOX, we further demonstrate ultra-rapid hydrate formation with a methane uptake of 83.81 (±0.77) volume of gas/volume of hydrate (v/v) within 15 minutes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the fastest reaction time ever reported for sII hydrates related to SNG technology and represents a 147% increase in the hydrate formation rate compared to the standard water-DIOX system. Mixed methane-DIOX hydrates in pelletized form also exhibit incredible stability when stored at atmospheric pressure and moderate temperature of 268.15 K, thereby showcasing potential to be industrially adoptable for the development of a large-scale NG storage system.