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Hydrogen is liquefied and stored at -253°C, at ambient-moderate pressures, in cryogenic tanks through a multi-stage process of compression and cooling.

Technology

What is it?

Hydrogen is liquefied and stored at -253 °C, at ambient-moderate pressures, in cryogenic tanks through a multi-stage process of compression and cooling.

Why is it important?

More financially viable where high density hydrogen storage is required under limited space, or where a larger roundtrip distance is involved.

Characteristics

  • Volumetric hydrogen density: 70.85 kg/m3at 1 bar
  • Storage conditions: 2- 10 bar, 20K
  • Well-to-tank efficiency range: 20-25%. The energy required to liquify the hydrogen is 6- 8 kW/kg LH2. Well-to-tank efficiency includes from the feedstock natural gas consumed to the low heating value of H2 delivered to tank

Benefits

  • Higher volumetric storage capacity than compressed gas
  • Fewer evaporation losses than typical compression mechanisms

Limitations

  • Requires advanced and more expensive storage material
  • Liquefaction requires complex technical plant
  • Liquefied hydrogen incurs boil-off losses.
  • To be liquefied, up to 40% of energy content of hydrogen is required

RD&D priorities

  • Reduce boil-off (i.e. vaporisation) rates
  • Improve engineering, insulation, heat exchangers and coolants
  • Improve insulation material construction techniques to achieve larger scale and better insulated tanks
  • Improve hydrogen compression technology
  • Study and analyse the effects of vessel shape designs, stratification, and thermal overfill
  • Conduct thermal-fluid dynamical analysis on the effects of flashing during the transport of liquid hydrogen from bulk storage to atmospheric on-site storage
  • Develop low cost catalysts for improved ortho‐para conversion, and ortho‐para ratio measurement capability, to reduce boil off rate
  • Conduct studies of impurity freeze‐out in H2 production

Known active organisations

  • CSIRO
  • Monash University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • The University of New South Wales
  • The University of Sydney
  • The University of Western Australia

Other opportunities like this

  • Ionic compressors make use of ionic liquids instead of a piston to compress hydrogen gas.

  • Hydrogen is stored at high pressures (approaching 800 bar) in steel or carbon fibre composite tanks via mechanical compression.

  • A compressor in which hydrogen is supplied at the anode and then driven through a polymer exchange membrane to the cathode via the application of an electric current, where it is collected in a compressed form on the other side.

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