A New Spin on Liquid Hydrogen: Controlled Cold Energy

April 27th, 2023

R&D Focus Areas:
Liquid hydrogen

Lead Organisation:
University of Western Australia

Not applicable


Start date:
May 2023

Completion date:
June 2025

Key contacts:
Chief Investigator: Professor Michael Johns: michael.johns@uwa.edu.au

Australian Research Council (ARC) grant award: AUD$613,863

Project total cost:

Project summary description:
While hydrogen is seen as playing a leading role in global decarbonisation, significant challenges remain regarding methods for its reliable storage and transportation. Hydrogen liquefaction has emerged as a promising approach due to its high energy density and hydrogen purity but is currently prohibitively expensive.

This project will exploit the peculiar spin physics of hydrogen to alleviate liquefactions costs through the provision of controllable refrigeration (so-called ‘cold energy’) following regasification. In particular, it will seek to measure, optimise and exploit the highly endothermic catalysed conversion of para- to ortho- hydrogen, which can provide up to 525 kJ/kg of cooling at convenient temperatures.

A key outcome of this project is to reduce the cost of converting hydrogen to a liquid by designing equipment to efficiently recover most of the additional energy used in this process, and then use this energy directly for refrigeration and air conditioning.

Related publications and key links:
None at this stage.
Grant – Grants Data Portal (arc.gov.au)

Higher degree studies supported:
One PhD student to be appointed.


April 2023