Methane and natural gas are usually shipped around in pressurized pipelines and canisters. But chemists have now developed a new way to transport the gases: as a powder.
Andrew Cooper and his colleagues at the University of Liverpool, UK, have found that they can trap methane in a bizarre material dubbed 'dry water', a mixture of silica and water that looks and acts like a fine white powder. The methane reacts with the water to produce a crystalline material called methane gas hydrate, in which individual methane molecules sit inside ice-like cages of water molecules....MORE'Dry water' looks like a powder - but a quick squeeze is enough to release the fluid.A. Cooper et al / ACS