Burning ice

A team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PNNL, has carried out a computer analysis of gas hydrates to try and understand key details about their structure. The study is the first to accurately quantify the molecular-scale interactions between hydrogen or methane, the "natural" gas in the hydrates and the water molecules that form hydrogen-bonded molecular cages around them. The PNNL team demonstrated that hydrates can hold hydrogen at an optimal capacity of 5 mass percentage, which is considered a viable figure by the US Department of Energy making gas hydrates a practical and affordable alternative fuel source.