Flaming ice

burning hydrateI am doing a bit of reading up on a substance that looks like ice, but, as you can see, burns. The substance is called gas hydrate or methane¬†hydrate. It is a crystal and it looks like ice because it is quite like ice. It is a crystalline arrangement of water molecules, like ice. But the arrangement is a bit different. The water molecules form an array of cages. A cage of water molecules is shown at the top left — H20¬†molecules are shown in red (oxygen atom) and white (hydrogen). In these cages sit methane molecules. A methane, CH4, molecule in the cage is also shown. It is the methane that allows these crystals to burn.

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