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Liquid Hydrogen

Seeing the benefits of liquid hydrogen due to higher energy density than hydrogen gas. Working towards solving Liquid Hydrogen in Collaboration with Kazan University, Russia. 

 

Allow us to fill you on some of the intricacies about liquid hydrogen.

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Liquid Hydrogen: A Cool Fuel Source

Liquid hydrogen (LH2) is the liquid state of the lightest element, hydrogen. While hydrogen is naturally abundant, it exists as a gas under normal conditions. To transform it into liquid, hydrogen gas must be cooled to extremely low temperatures, reaching a staggering -252.87°C (-423.17°F). This process, called liquefaction, often involves complex machinery resembling jet engines.

Liquid vs. Gaseous Hydrogen: A Tale of Two States

Both liquid and gaseous hydrogen share the same chemical composition (H2), but their physical properties differ significantly:

  • Temperature: Liquid hydrogen is incredibly cold, while hydrogen gas exists at normal or slightly elevated temperatures.

  • Density: Although hydrogen itself is light, liquid hydrogen is even less dense than water, making it challenging to store in large quantities at room temperature. Gaseous hydrogen, on the other hand, is lighter than air.

  • State: As the names suggest, one is a liquid and the other is a gas. This difference significantly impacts how they are handled and used.

Benefits of Going Cold: Why Use Liquid Hydrogen?

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Despite the challenges associated with its production and storage, liquid hydrogen offers several advantages:
  • High Energy Density: By weight, liquid hydrogen holds more energy than most conventional fuels, including gasoline. This makes it ideal for applications where weight is a significant factor, such as rockets and spacecraft.

  • Clean Burning: When burned, liquid hydrogen produces only water vapour, making it a clean-burning fuel with minimal environmental impact. This is particularly attractive in the context of developing sustainable energy solutions.

  • Compact Storage: Although less dense than other fuels, liquid hydrogen's compact form allows for storing more energy in a smaller space compared to its gaseous counterpart. This is advantageous for transportation and applications where space is limited.

 

While liquid hydrogen presents a promising avenue for cleaner energy and space exploration, its extreme temperature requirements and complex handling necessitate ongoing research and development to optimize its production, storage, and utilization.

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