Chapter 1

Introduction

Abstract

This chapter provides an introduction to gas hydrates—why are they important, some history, and a brief overview of what they are. To begin, some of the unusual properties of water are presented: high boiling point, high enthalpy of vaporization, unusual density, etc. This leads to the structure of the water molecule and a brief discussion of hydrogen bonding. It is because water forms such strong hydrogen bonds that gas hydrates are possible. Also given in this chapter are the criteria for hydrate formation: water, a hydrate former, and the right combination of temperature and pressure. Although water is essential for hydrate formation, free water (i.e., water in the liquid phase) is not. Some secondary conditions ...

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