Cryogenics and Liquid Hydrogen Storage

  • Bahman Zohuri


Cryogenics is the science that addresses the production and effects of very low temperatures. The word originates from the Greek words kryos meaning “frost” and genic meaning “to produce.” Using this definition, the term could be used to include all temperatures below the freezing point of water (0 °C). However, Professor Kamerlingh Onnes of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands first used the word in 1894 to describe the art and science of producing much lower temperatures. He used the word in reference to the liquefaction of permanent gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and helium. Oxygen had been liquefied at −183 °C a few years earlier in 1887 and a race was in progress to liquefy the remaining permanent gases at even lower temperatures. The techniques employed in producing such low temperatures were quite different from those used somewhat earlier in the production of artificial ice. In particular, efficient heat exchangers are required to reach very low temperatures. Over the years the term cryogenics has generally been used to refer to temperatures below approximately −150 °C (123.15 K, −238.00 °F). Cryogenic applications extends beyond its present day-to-day usage, and one important aspect of it is storage of high-density liquid hydrogen. To liquefy hydrogen, it must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures through a liquefaction process. Hydrogen is most commonly transported and delivered as a liquid when high-volume transport is needed in the absence of pipelines. Trucks transporting liquid hydrogen are referred to as liquid tankers [1].


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bahman Zohuri
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringGalaxy Advanced Engineering Inc., University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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