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LIQUIDAIRTECHNOLOGIESAGUIDETOTHEPOTENTIAL1PREFACE2013istheyearliquidairarrivedasaseriousenergytechnology.FollowingareportbytheCentreforLowCarbonFuturesandaconferencewiththeindustrialandbusinesscommunityattheRoyalAcademyofEngineeringliquidairtechnologiesarenowwidelyrecognisedasofferingthepotentialtodeliverreductionsinfuelbillsairpollutionandcarbonemissionswhilesimultaneouslyboostingenergysecurityandcreatingjobs.TheGovernmentisclearlyconvincedofthepotentialandhassofarthisyearcommittedsignificantmillionstofundimmediatedemonstrationprojectsingridandtransportapplicationsandanewmulti-millionpoundresearchinstitutetheBirminghamCentreforCryogenicEnergyStorage.Thedebatehasbroadenedrapidlytoencompassnotsimplythebenefitsofindividualtechnologiesbutalsothepotentialforajoined-upliquidaireconomy.Likeanypotentiallydisruptivetechnologythebenefitsofliquidairwouldneedtobesignificantforittoachievewidespreadadoptioninbusinessandsocietyatlarge.ButwhatwouldthatmeanAliquidaireconomywouldconvertwrongtimerenewableenergyintoaformthatcanbeusedequallywellinawiderangeofapplicationsfromelectricitystorageandgenerationtovehiclesincludingbusesandlorries.Itwouldhelptacklethreeofthetoughestchallengesofthelow-carbontransitionbalancinganelectricitygridincreasinglydominatedbyintermittentrenewableseconomicallyreducingtransportemissionsandharvestinglowgradewasteheatthroughouttheeconomy.BasedonanoldideatheliquidaireconomyisbeingmadepossiblebytheworkofUKentrepreneursengineersandacademicsandplaystoBritishstrengthsincryogenicandmechanicalengineering.InMaytheCentreforLowCarbonFuturespublishedareportLiquidAirintheenergyandtransportsystemsopportunitiesforindustryandinnovationintheUKwhichestimatedthevaluetoBritainfromliquidairenergystoragealoneat1billionand22000jobs.ThosejobscouldwellfavourtheMidlandstheNorthofEnglandandScotland.Twopeoplehavebeeninstrumentalinlayingthefoundationsforthisopportunity.OneisanarchetypalBritishinventorPeterDearmanwhomadethebigleapforwardinengineefficiencyandconvertedacarinhisgaragetoprovehisidea.TheotherisProfessorYulongDingwhoworkingwithPeterledtheearlyworktoinventLiquidAirEnergyStorageforgrid-scaleapplicationandistodaythenewChamberlainChairatthestateoftheartBirminghamCentreforCryogenicEnergyStoragewherehewillleadthenextphaseofresearchanddevelopmentofliquidairtechnologies.Theliquidaireconomyisnosilverbulletbutitdoesofferauniquecombinationofenergyenvironmentalandeconomicbenefits.Whatsmoresinceliquidairisbasedonexistingcomponentsandsupplychainsaliquidaireconomycoulddevelopfarsoonerthansomeotherapproaches.Whatweneednowisaroadmaptotakeusfromheretothereandthisbriefingpaperisthefirststeprecognisinganysuchmapmustidentifyhumanbusinessandtechnologicalscenarios.ProfessorRichardAWilliamsOBEFREngFTSEUniversityofBirmingham