Carolyn Koh

William K. Coors Distinguished Chair and Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Carolyn KohNatural gas hydrates are crystalline inclusion compounds, which are capable of hosting small molecules inside the cages of a hydrogen-bonded water framework. Hydrates of natural gas present a potential hazard to the oil and gas industries when they form in subsea oil/gas flowlines. On the other hand, they also have technological importance in energy recovery, transportation and storage. We have recently demonstrated (Science 2004) that hydrogen molecules can be stored in binary H2/THF (tetrahydrofuran) clathrate hydrates at pressures nearly two orders of magnitude lower than that in pure hydrogen hydrates. This decreased pressure makes binary clathrate hydrates a potentially feasible hydrogen storage material, with a unique combination of advantages not found in any other class of materials.

The ultimate goal of our research is to advance our understanding of the nucleation, crystallization, and agglomeration mechanisms for natural gas hydrates. The results will have immediate relevance to flow assurance in gas/oil flowlines, and energy transportation and storage. Specifically we are aiming to (a) develop molecular-scale models of the aqueous structures which occur in solution immediately prior to and during the growth of gas hydrates, (b) investigate the effects of inhibitor and promoter molecules on these local structures, and, (c) using these data, identify possible pathways which may occur in the process of hydrate formation. This program combines microscopic (vibrational spectroscopy and neutron diffraction coupled to computer simulations) and macroscopic measurements (differential scanning calorimetry) to provide mechanistic information on hydrate nucleation, growth, and decomposition. The different methods help assure correct interpretation of the measurements and provide a solid foundation for accurate model development.


  • BSc (First Class Hons.), PhD – University of W. London, U.K.
  • Post-Doctoral Study – Cornell University
  • Experience Abroad – Reader, King’s College, University of London, U.K.

Selected Publications

  • Wells, J., Chen, W., Hartman, R., Koh, C.A. 2021. “Carbon Dioxide in a Microfluidic Device: Phase Boundary & Crystallization Kinetics Measurements with Micro-Raman Spectroscopy”. Journal of Chemical Physics, 154, 114710.
  • Stoner, H. M., Phan, A., Striolo, A., & Koh, C. A. 2021. “Water Wettability Coupled with Film Growth on Realistic Cyclopentane Hydrate Surfaces”. Langmuir37, 12447-12456.
  • Denning, S., Majid, A. A., Lucero, J. M., Crawford, J. M., Carreon, M. A., & Koh, C. A. 2021. “Methane Hydrate Growth Promoted by Microporous Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks ZIF-8 and ZIF-67 for Enhanced Methane Storage”. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering9, 9001-9010.
  • Majid, A. A., Creek, J., Subramanian, S., Estanga, D. A., & Koh, C. A. 2021. Rapid screening method for hydrate agglomeration and plugging assessment using high pressure differential scanning calorimetry. Fuel306, 121625.
  • Liu, Y., Schenken, W.K., Krishna, L.,… Koh, C.A. 2021. “Synthesis & Characterization of Type II Silicon Clathrate Films with Low Na Conc.” Applied Physics Reviews, 8(4), 041408.
  • Pickarts, M., Ravichandran, S., Delgado-Linares, J., Brown, E., Veedu, V., Koh, C.A., “Gas Hydrate Deposit Formation in Transient Flowloop Tests & Mitigation with a Surface Treatment.” Fuel, 311, 122532.
  • Salmin, D. C., Delgado-Linares, J. G., Wu, D. T., Zerpa, L. E., & Koh, C. A. 2021. “Hydrate Agglomeration in Crude Oil Systems in Which the Asphaltene Aggregation State Is Artificially Modified”. SPE Journal26(03), 1189-1199.
  • M. R. Walsh, C. A. Koh, E. D. Sloan, A. K. Sum, and D. T. Wu, “Microsecond Simulation of Spontaneous Methane Hydrate Nucleation and Growth,” Science, 326 (5956), 1095-1098 (2009). doi: 10.1126/science.1174010
  • Sloan, E.D. and Koh, C.A., “Clathrate Hydrates of Natural Gases”, 3rd Edition, Taylor & Francis/CRC Press (2008) – “3rd Edition of a Bestseller” quoted from CRC Press Publishers (720 pages in Length).
  • L.J. Florusse, C.J. Peters, J. Schoonman, K.C. Hester, C.A. Koh, S.F. Dec, K. Marsh, E.D. Sloan, “Molecular Clusters of H2 Stored in Binary Clathrate Hydrates at Near Ambient T & P”. Science, 2004, 306, 469-471.

Google Scholar Citations Page

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Young Scientist Award and Medal of the British Association for Crystal Growth
  • Visiting Professor appointments have been held at Cornell University, Penn State University, London University
  • National Academies, National Research Council Committee Member on Methane Hydrates
  • Young Faculty Research Excellence Award, Colorado School of Mines, 2012
  • CSM Order of Omega Teacher of the Year, 2012
  • CSM Outstanding Faculty Member Award, Senior Class, 2013
  • The National Society of Leadership & Success – Excellence to Students Award, CSM Chapter, 2013
  • Dean’s Excellence Award, CSM, 2015-16.
  • Distinguished Lecturer Award, CSM, 2020.
  • IChemE Guggenheim Medal 2021. Guggenheim Medal – IChemE.
  • Yeram S. Touloukian Award 2021. Yeram S. Touloukian Award – ASME.
  • GPA Katz Award, 2021.
  • SPE Regional Projects, Facilities and Construction Award, 2022.


452 Alderson Hall
1613 Illinois Street
Golden, CO 80401
Office: (303) 273-3237
FAX: (303) 273-3730

Research Group

  • Ahmad Afif Abdul Majid, University of Michigan, MI
  • Joseph Briggs, University of Florida
  • Christopher Brock, Colorado School of Mines
  • Seth Dale, University of Florida
  • Jose Delgado, University of The Andes (Venezuela)
  • Nur Aminatulmimi Ismail, M.S. University Teknologi Petronas
  • Yinan Liu, M.S. Tianjin University
  • Wiwin Lukman Febrianto, Institut Teknologi Bandung
  • Seetharaman Navaneetha Kannan, University of Tulsa
  • Marshall Pickarts, The Ohio State University
  • Anqi Qu, Columbia University in the City of New York
  • Sriram Ravichandran, Ph.D. University of Tulsa
  • Anne Schide, Northeastern University
  • Hannah Stoner, Colorado School of Mines
  • Lindsey Wadsworth, Montana State University-Bozeman
  • Joshua Worley, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Center for Hydrate Research