Liquid hydrogen storage joint research could lead to large-scale development

Liquid hydrogen storage joint research could lead to large-scale development

March 20, 2024 0 By Angie Bergenson

HD Hyundai Korea Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (KSOE) and 3M sign agreement.

The two companies have teamed up for a joint research project to develop large liquid hydrogen storage tanks equipped with a high-performance vacuum insulation system. This system uses 3M’s Glass Bubbles, hollow glass microspheres with low density and high durability.

Storing and transporting liquid H2 is key to hydrogen’s viability as a clean fuel of the future.

Hydrogen tech is a key player in the future of clean power. While many can agree this is the case, the reality is that hydrogen’s success is highly dependent on being able to be efficiently and safely stored and transported.
3M and HD Hyundai KSOE believe that the focus should not be on transporting hydrogen as a gas, but on transporting liquid hydrogen. The main reason is that liquid hydrogen takes up less space. In liquid form, hydrogen can be decreased to 1/800th the volume. However, to be converted into liquid, hydrogen must be cooled to an extremely low temperature of -253°C. For this reason, a high-performance insulation system for liquid hydrogen storage tanks and the cryogenic insulation materials that go into this system are vital.

Collaborating on the liquid hydrogen storage system.

According to a recent news release from the companies, they will work together on insulation and construction workability evaluations. They will also collaborate on demonstrations and classification approvals of 3M’s Glass Bubbles to HD HHI’s advanced thermal insulation system for H2 storage tanks.

Liquid Hydrogen Storage - 3M Company HD HYUNDAI_LH2 carrier - Image Source - 3M

3M Company HD HYUNDAI_LH2 carrier – Image Source: 3M

The companies hope that through their combined efforts they will capture the first volume of orders for high-value-added ships based on ultra-gap tech in the up-and-coming hydrogen society and bolster the competitiveness of the domestic shipbuilding sector.

Could this be a major step forward for liquid H2 storage?

hydrogen news ebook3M’s Glass Bubbles are not your average cryogenic insulation materials. Compared to traditional materials like perlite, 3M’s technology has greater thermal durability, efficiency and weight savings. They offer a more effective and economical alternative to traditional cryogenic insulation.
These significant advantages are what makes the Glass Bubbles so intriguing. Their ability to dramatically lower the boil off emissions from liquid hydrogen storage tanks could make them a potentially critical factor of the world shifting from fossil fuel to hydrogen-based sustainable sources of power.

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