Authors: Cabrera-Ramirez, Adriana; Arismendi-Arrieta, Daniel J.; Valdes, Alvaro; Prosmiti, Rita
Publication date: 2021/02/16
Abstract: The formation of specific clathrate hydrates and their transformation at given thermodynamic conditions depends on the interactions between the guest molecule/s and the host water lattice. Understanding their structural stability is essential to control structure-property relations involved in different technological applications. Thus, the energetic aspects relative to CO2@sI clathrate hydrate are investigated through the computation of the underlying interactions, dominated by hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces, from first-principles electronic structure approaches. The stability of the CO2@sI clathrate is evaluated by combining bottom-up and top-down approaches. Guest-free and CO2 guest-filled aperiodic cages, up to the gradually CO2 occupation of the entire sI periodic unit cells were considered. Saturation, cohesive and binding energies for the systems are determined by employing a variety of density functionals and their performance is assessed. The dispersion corrections on the non-covalent interactions are found to be important in the stabilization of the CO2@sI energies, with the encapsulation of the CO2 into guest-free/empty cage/lattice being always an energetically favorable process for most of the functionals studied. The PW86PBE functional with XDM or D3(BJ) dispersion corrections predicts a lattice constant in accord to the experimental values available, and simultaneously provides a reliable description for the guest-host interactions in the periodic CO2@sI crystal, as well as the energetics of its progressive single cage occupancy process. It has been found that the preferential orientation of the single CO2 in the large sI crystal cages has a stabilizing effect on the hydrate, concluding that the CO2@sI structure is favored either by considering the individual building block cages or the complete sI unit cell crystal. Such benchmark and methodology cross-check studies benefit new data-driven model research by providing high-quality training information, with new insights that indicate the underlying factors governing their structure-driven stability, and triggering further investigations for controlling the stabilization of these promising long-term CO2 storage materials.