About Liquid Hydrogen

Property Value
Symbol H2
Melting Point 13.81 K
Boiling Point 20.28 K
Heat of Vaporization @ 0°C, 1.013 bar 445.6 kJ/kg
Specific Heat (Cp) @ 0°C, 1.013 bar 9.78 kJ/kg K
Viscosity 13.06 kg/m-s X 106
Thermal Conductivity (k) 118.5 mW/m-k
Critical Temperature 32.976 K
Critical Pressure 1.293 MPa
Temperature at Triple Point 13.803 K @ 7.04 MPa
Saturated Liquid Density (p) @ 0°C, 1.013 bar 70.97 kg/m3
Phase at Room Temperature (20°C) Gas

Liquid Hydrogen (H2) typically has to be stored at -423°F (-253°C or 20 K).  The temperature requirements for liquid hydrogen storage necessitate expending a great deal of energy to compress and chill the hydrogen into its liquid state.  The cooling and compressing process requires energy, resulting in a net loss of about 30% of the energy that the liquid hydrogen is storing.  The storage tanks are insulated to maintain temperature.
Liquid Hydrogen is often stored at higher pressure so significant reinforcement
is used.

The margin of safety concerning liquid hydrogen storage is a function of maintaining tank integrity and preserving the temperatures that liquid hydrogen requires.  Combine the cost or energy required for the process to get hydrogen into its liquid state and the cost of tanks required to sustain the storage pressure and temperature, and liquid hydrogen storage becomes very expensive compared to other methods.  Research in the field of liquid hydrogen storage centers around the development of composite tank materials, resulting in lighter, stronger tanks and improved methods for liquefying hydrogen.

Scientists had been producing hydrogen for years before it was recognized as an element.  Written records indicate that Robert Boyle produced hydrogen gas as early as 1671 while experimenting with iron and acids.  Henry Cavendish first recognized hydrogen as a distinct element in 1766.

Composed of a single proton and a single electron, hydrogen is the simplest and most abundant element in the universe. It is estimated that 90% of the visible universe is composed of hydrogen.

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