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Thermodynamics of clathrate hydrate at low and high pressures with application to the outer solar systemThe thermodynamic stability of clathrate hydrate is calculated to predict the formation conditions corresponding to a range of solar system parameters. The calculations were performed using the statistical mechanical theory developed by van der Waals and Platteeuw (1959) and existing experimental data concerning clathrate hydrate and its components. Dissociation pressures and partition functions (Langmuir constants) are predicted at low pressure for CO clathrate (hydrate) using the properties of chemicals similar to CO. It is argued that nonsolar but well constrained noble gas abundances may be measurable by the Galileo spacecraft in the Jovian atmosphere if the observed carbon enhancement is due to bombardment of the atmosphere by clathrate-bearing planetesimals sometime after planetary formation. The noble gas abundances of the Jovian satellite Titan are predicted, assuming that most of the methane in Titan is accreted as clathrate. It is suggested that under thermodynamically appropriate conditions, complete clathration of water ice could have occurred in high-pressure nebulas around giant planets, but probably not in the outer solar nebula. The stability of clathrate in other pressure ranges is also discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Lunine, J. I. (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Stevenson, D. J. (California Institute of Technology Pasadena, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Volume: 58
ISSN: 0067-0049
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits