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Frontiers in Energy

Front. Energy    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (3) : 530-544     https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-019-0657-4
REVIEW ARTICLE
Review on the design and optimization of hydrogen liquefaction processes
Liang YIN, Yonglin JU()
Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
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Abstract

The key technologies of liquefied hydrogen have been developing rapidly due to its prospective energy exchange effectiveness, zero emissions, and long distance and economic transportation. However, hydrogen liquefaction is one of the most energy-intensive industrial processes. A small reduction in energy consumption and an improvement in efficiency may decrease the operating cost of the entire process. In this paper, the detailed progress of design and optimization for hydrogen liquefaction in recent years are summarized. Then, based on the refrigeration cycles, the hydrogen liquefaction processes are divided into two parts, namely precooled liquefaction process and cascade liquefaction process. Among the existing technologies, the SEC of most hydrogen liquefaction processes is limited in the range of 5–8 kWh/ kgLH2: liquid hydrogen). The exergy efficiencies of processes are around 40% to 60%. Finally, several future improvements for hydrogen liquefaction process design and optimization are proposed. The mixed refrigerants (MRs) as the working fluids of the process and the combination of the traditional hydrogen liquefaction process with the renewable energy technology will be the great prospects for development in near future.

Keywords hydrogen liquefaction      energy consumption      efficiency      optimization     
Corresponding Author(s): Yonglin JU   
Online First Date: 24 December 2019    Issue Date: 14 September 2020
 Cite this article:   
Liang YIN,Yonglin JU. Review on the design and optimization of hydrogen liquefaction processes[J]. Front. Energy, 2020, 14(3): 530-544.
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http://journal.hep.com.cn/fie/EN/10.1007/s11708-019-0657-4
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fie/EN/Y2020/V14/I3/530
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Liang YIN
Yonglin JU
Area 2017 2020 2025 2030
Japan 100 160 320 900
South Korea 14 80 210 520
China 15 100 350 1000
America 69 (35 in California) 320
Germany 56 400
France 3 400–1000
UK 3 65 300 1150
Denmark 11 15 185
Spain 6 20
Sweden 4 14
Belgium 25 75
Tab.1  Number of hydrogen refueling stations in the world in the near future
Fig.1  Spin isomers of molecular hydrogen: ortho hydrogen and para hydrogen.
Fig.2  Design of a simple Claude cycle.
Fig.3  Design of a Kapitza cycle.
Fig.4  Design of an LN2 pre-cooled Linde-Hampson cycle.
Basic hydrogen liquefaction cycle Liquid yield/% SEC/(kWh/kg LH2?1) EXE/%
Simple Claude [24] 8 22.1 18.1
Precooled Linde-Hampson [25] 12–17 72.8–79.8 4.5–5.0
Precooled dual-pressure Linde-Hampson [26] 41 12.14 27
Precooled simple Claude [25] 16–20 28–39.2 9.2–13
Precooled dual pressure Claude [24] 12.26
Helium-precooled Claude [25] 100 33.6–56 6.5–11
Tab.2  Comparison of basic hydrogen liquefaction cycles
Fig.5  Process flow diagram of completed system (reprinted with permission from Ref. [31].)
Fig.6  Schematic diagram of super-critical hydrogen liquefaction process (reprinted with permission from Ref. [15].)
Fig.7  Overall flow diagram (reprinted with permission from Ref. [35].)
Fig.8  Flowsheet for large-scale 100 TPD LH2 plant utilizing MR and four H2 J-B refrigeration cycles (reprinted with permission from Ref. [38].)
Fig.9  Flowsheet of proposed process for liquefaction of hydrogen (reprinted with permission from Ref. [39].)
Fig.10  Process flow diagram of proposed liquefaction cycle (reprinted with permission from Ref. [44].)
Fig.11  Proposed framework for evaluating economic and environmental impacts of a selected hydrogen liquefaction process (reprinted with permission from Ref. [44].)
Fig.12  A hybrid of MR hydrogen liquefaction system, MR cascade J-B refrigeration cycle, and an absorption refrigeration cycle (Reprinted with permission from Ref. [45].)
Proposed hydrogen liquefaction cycle Capacity/TPD Liquid yield/% SEC/( kW h/kgL H2?1) EXE/% Remarks
Nitrogen precooled cycles Baker and Shaner [28] 250 100 10.85 36.0 H2 expander and compressor isentropic efficiency (eff.) = 0.79, liquefier max p = 4137 kPa
Bracha et al. [12] 4.4 100 13.58 Lngolstadt by Linde
WE-NET project [29] 300 100 Process efficiency>0.40, liquid pressure= 105 kPa
Kuzmenk et al. [30] 5.4 100 12.7 34.6 H2 compressor isothermal eff. = 0.6, He compressor isothermal eff. = 0.53, N2 compressor isothermal eff. = 0.53, N2 expanders isothermal eff. = 0.73–0.75, He expanders isothermal eff. = 0.85
Tang [14] 50 100 40.17 H2 compressor isothermal eff. = 0.6, He compressor isothermal eff. = 0.8, He expanders isothermal eff. = 0.85, wet expanders isothermal eff. = 0.80, liquefier max p = 2100 kPa
Hammad and Dincer [32] 11.58 liquefier max p = 2000 kPa
Helium precooled cycles Shimko and Gardiner [13] 50 100 8.73 44.6 expander isentropic eff. = 0.83–0.86, wet expander isentropic eff. = 0.90, He and H2 compressor eff. = 0.8
Staats et al. [33] 50 100 35.6 expander isentropic eff. = 0.83–0.86, wet expander isentropic eff. = 0.90, He compressor isothermal eff. = 0.80, H2 compressor isothermal eff. = 0.60
Yuksel et al. [15] 50 100 57.13 He and H2 compressors isentropic eff. = 0.80, He expanders eff. = 0.85
J-B precooled cycles Matsuda and Nagamei [34] 300 100 8.49 47.1 expanders isentropic eff. = 0.85 compressor isentropic eff. = 0.80, liquefier max p ≈ 5000 kPa
Quack [35] 173 100 5–7 60.7 expanders isentropic eff. = 0.85–0.90, compressor isentropic eff. = 0.85, liquefier max p ≈ 8000 kPa
Valenti [36] 864 100 5.04 47.7 He expanders isothermal eff. = 0.88–0.93, He compressors polytrophic eff. = 0.92, H2 expander polytrophic eff. = 0.85, J-B cycle max p = 4000 kPa
MR precooled cycles Stang et al. [37] 100 7.0 60.0
Krasae-in et al. [16] 100 100 5.35 54.0 Ten-component mixture, compressors and expanders isentropic eff. = 0.80
Krasae-in [38] 100 100 5.91 48.9 Five-component mixture, J-B cycles max p = 4000 kPa, MR cycle max p = 1800 kPa
Sadaghiani and Mehrpooya [39] 300 100 4.41 55.47 Expanders adiabatic eff. = 0.85, compressor isentropic eff. = 0.90, J-B cycles max p = 1000 kPa, MR cycle max p = 1600 kPa
Asadnia and Mehrpooya [40] 100 100 7.69 39.5 Expander and compressor isentropic eff. = 0.80, J-B cycles max p = 3000 kPa, MR cycle max p = 1805 kPa
Cardella et al. [41] 100 100 6 Expanders isentropic eff. = 0.78–0.88, compressor isentropic eff. = 0.76–0.86
LNG precooled cycles Kuendig et al. [42] 50 100 4
Cascade cycles Ansarinasab et al. [17] 100 Expanders isentropic eff. = 0.80, compressor isentropic eff. = 0.90, MR cycle max p = 1800 kPa
Ansarinasab et al. [44] (2019) 300 100 1.102 55.47 H2 cycle max p = 2100 kPa, MR cycle max p = 1600 kPa
Aasadnia and Mehrpooya [45] 90 100 6.47 45.5 Expander and compressor isentropic eff. = 0.80, H2 cycle max p = 2100 kPa, MR cycle max p = 1805 kPa
Tab.3  Differences between proposed hydrogen liquefaction cycles
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