A clathrate hydrate of carbon monoxide


Since the mid-1950s it has been known that most simple clathrate hydrates belong to one of two cubic crystal forms known as type I and II1–3. Only recently it was established that structure II hydrates are formed by small guests such as O2, N2, Kr and Ar4 as well as molecules larger than 0.58nm, with molecules of intermediate size forming type I hydrate. The existence of a hydrate of carbon monoxide, a molecule similar in size to O2 and N2, has been proposed since 19605,6. This hydrate is thought to play an important role in comets and the outer planets in the Solar System7,8. We have now prepared carbon monoxide hydrate, and demonstrate its clathrate hydrate nature from dielectric and 13C NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) measurements. Unexpectedly, X-ray powder diffraction shows that, unlike hydrates of O2 and N2, carbon monoxide has a type I cubic structure with a lattice parameter of 1.188 nm.

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Davidson, D., Desando, M., Gough, S. et al. A clathrate hydrate of carbon monoxide. Nature 328, 418–419 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1038/328418a0

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