Gas hydrates in sustainable chemistry
Gas hydrates have received considerable attention due to their important role in flow assurance for the oil and gas industry, their extensive natural occurrence on Earth and extraterrestrial planets, and their significant applications in sustainable technologies including but not limited to gas and energy storage, gas separation, and water desalination. Given not only their inherent structural flexibility depending on the type of guest gas molecules and formation conditions, but also the synthetic effects of a wide range of chemical additives on their properties, these variabilities could be exploited to optimise the role of gas hydrates. This includes increasing their industrial applications, understanding and utilising their role in Nature, identifying potential methods for safely extracting natural gases stored in naturally occurring hydrates within the Earth, and for developing green technologies. This review summarizes the different properties of gas hydrates as well as their formation and dissociation kinetics and then reviews the fast-growing literature reporting their role and applications in the aforementioned fields, mainly concentrating on advances during the last decade. Challenges, limitations, and future perspectives of each field are briefly discussed. The overall objective of this review is to provide readers with an extensive overview of gas hydrates that we hope will stimulate further work on this riveting field.