We report an unusual behavior of hydrate formation in silica sand with gas mixtures containing propane as a co-guest. Based on morphology study we observed that propane as a co-guest has the ability to draw water dispersed in silica sand to the hydrate formation region and showed a tendency to result in drastic hydrate growth due to the migration of water molecules to the gas phase region. Hydrate nucleation occurred in the interstitial pore space between the silica sand particles and hydrate growth occurred in the gas phase above the silica sand bed and to sustain the hydrate growth, dispersed water was drawn towards the hydrate growth front. In addition, we elucidated the effect of sand bed height to maximize the growth rates utilizing this behavior that results in enhanced kinetics. We propose conceptual designs for utilizing this behavior of propane as a co-guest in sand for seawater desalination and an innovative approach to simultaneously capture carbon dioxide and desalinate seawater. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.