Hydrogen liquefiers

Brayton cycle for low investment costs versus Claude cycle for lower operating costs

Liquefied hydrogen is presently mainly used for space applications and the semiconductor industry. While clean energy applications, for e.g. the automotive sector, currently contribute to this demand with a small share only, their demand may see a significant boost in the next years with the need for large scale liquefaction plants exceeding the current plant sizes by far.

Linde Kryotechnik has more than forty years’ experience in building hydrogen liquefaction plants. Industrial hydrogen liquefaction uses a variety of processes with helium, hydrogen or gas mixtures as coolant.

Hydrogen liquefaction for small scale plants with a maximum capacity of 3 tons per day (tpd) is accomplished with a Brayton refrigeration cycle using helium as refrigerant. This technology is characterized by low investment costs but lower process efficiency and hence higher operating costs.

For larger plants, a hydrogen Claude cycle is used, characterized by higher investment but lower operating costs.

Small hydrogen liquefier < 3'000 l/h Bulk hydrogen liquefier >3'000 l/h
Beijing, China Magog, Canada
Mahendragiri, India Osaka, Japan
Kimitsu, Japan Leuna, Germany
Ingolstadt, Germany Iwatani, Japan (4 liquefiers)
Saggonda, India