You are here

[Perspective] Clathrates grow up

Although methane is a volatile gas, it can be efficiently trapped in ice, which can then be readily set on fire. Beyond the curiosity of this “burning ice,” caged methane is of great importance as one of the world’s largest natural gas resources (1). In these materials, known as clathrates, methane molecules are tightly bound in nanometer-sized, regularly interspaced cages. Other inorganic materials, such as the silica mineral chibaite, can similarly encapsulate methane and higher hydrocarbons (2). Simple organic compounds have also been found to trap various organic molecules upon…

Read More