Optical measurements of solid nitrogen solubility in hydrogen at cryogenic temperatures

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The solubility of impurities in hydrogen at cryogenic temperatures is essential information for the design of liquid hydrogen plants. However, large data scatter and inconsistent predictions of impurity solubility by thermodynamic models mean that expensive engineering design margins are required to avoid blockages in cryogenic equipment. Here we report the combination of a stereomicroscope, commercial cryocooler and pressure cell to directly visualise solid impurity freeze-out and melting in stirred hydrogen at low temperatures and elevated pressures. Scattered literature data for nitrogen's solubility in hydrogen are compared to new solid-fluid equilibrium (SFE) measurements for a 1000 ppm N2 in H2 mixture at (1.8–5) MPa, and (42–52) K. These results were used to improve solubility models implemented in the ThermoFAST software package, achieving a three-fold decrease in the root-mean-square deviations between the SFE predictions and the data, helping lower the risk of impurity freeze-out in hydrogen liquefaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-856
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2024


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