Natural gas and hydrogen liquefaction by magnetic refrigeration

August 21st, 2023

R&D Focus Areas:
Liquid hydrogen, Compressed gas

Lead Organisation:
Queensland University of Technology

Future Energy Exports CRC


Start date:
September 2023

Project summary description:
Current hydrogen liquefaction plants employ complex and energy-intensive processes, with existing liquefiers’ specific energy consumption (SEC) between (11.9 and 15) kWh/kgH2 and exergy efficiency of less than 30%. Of the current non-vapour compression refrigeration techniques, the use of solid-state methods offers a high potential for higher energy efficiency across a range of temperatures.

Magnetocaloric technology has the potential to provide higher coefficients of performance, especially for liquefaction applications that require cooling down to 20 Kelvin. Magnetic refrigeration (MR) has the potential to achieve high thermal efficiency for hydrogen liquefaction in comparison with conventional systems. The operating temperature change is, however, limited to a few Kelvins due to the small adiabatic temperature difference of specific magnetic materials caused by the magnetic calorific effect (MCE).

This project will compare the efficiency of existing hydrogen liquefiers with alternative magnetic refrigeration systems. This project will also compare the potential for the use of MR technologies in the liquefaction of methane with Active Magnetic Regenerative Refrigeration (AMRR)

Further information:
23.RP2.0159 Natural gas and hydrogen liquefaction by magnetic refrigeration – Future Energy Exports CRC (


August 2023