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4LIQUIDAIRTECHNOLOGIESAGUIDETOTHEPOTENTIALDespitethegrowingawarenessofitstechnicalandindustrialadvantageshoweverthereisnoguaranteethatliquidairwillactuallyprogresstomassdeployment.Likeallnoveltechnologiesitmustmakethetransitionbetweendemonstrationandcommercialisationwhenmostfail.Ontheothersideofthisvalleyofdeathliesthepossibilityofajoined-upliquidaireconomywhereliquidairiswidelydeployedtodelivermajorreductionsinfuelconsumptioncostcarbonemissionsandlocalairpollutionaswellaseconomicgrowthandnewjobs.Thequestionnowishowtogetfromheretothere.ThequestionisespeciallyacuteinBritainwhichhasalonghistoryoflettingbrilliantinventionssuchasadvancedbatterytechnologiesslipfromitsgrasptobeexploitedoverseas.LiquidairhasthepotentialtoopenaglobalmarketworthtensofbillionsofpoundssaidJohnHayesMPasMinisterofStatefortheDepartmentofEnergyClimateChangein2012.Butthatwillonlybetrueifwerstdevelopthetechnologyathome.Thisproblemisalreadybeingtackledinsomesectors.InthemotorindustryforexamplethegovernmentandtheAutomotiveCouncilhavejointlycommitted1billiontofundthenewAdvancedPropulsionCentreintendedtoensurethatBritishadvancesinvehicletechnologyaredevelopedtocommercialproductionathome.ItisencouragingthereforethattheAutomotiveCouncilhasrecognisedthepotentialofliquidairinitslatesttechnologyroadmap.Butthisdoesnotmeanstakeholderscanrelaxthereisagreatdealmoreworktobedonetoensureliquidairsurvivesthevalleyofdeath.Britainhasalonghistoryoflettingbrilliantinventionsslipfromitsgraspliquidaircanavoidthatfate.2.OVERVIEWAirturnstoliquidwhenrefrigeratedto-196Candcanbeconvenientlystoredininsulatedbutunpressurisedvessels.Exposuretoheatincludingambientcausesrapidre-gasicationanda700-foldexpansioninvolumewhichcanbeusedtodriveaturbineorpistonenginetodousefulwork.Themainpotentialapplicationsareinelectricitystorageandtransportandinbothliquidaircanprovidetheadditionalbenetofwasteheatrecoveryandorcooling.Sincetheboilingpointofliquidair-196Cisfarbelowambienttemperaturestheenvironmentcanprovidealltheheatneededtomakeliquidairboil.Howeverthelowboilingpointalsomeanstheexpansionprocesscanbeboostedbytheadditionoflowgradewasteheatupto150Cwhichothertechnologieswouldnddifculttoexploitandwhichsignicantlyimprovestheoverallefciency.LiquidaircanalsoexploitthewastecoldfromLNGre-gasicationtoimprovetheefciencyofliquefactionandreducecosts.Aswithbatteriesorhydrogenthepurposeofliquidairistostorewrongtimeloworzerocarbonelectricitywhichcanthenbeusedtodisplacehighcarboncoalorgasinelectricitygenerationandpetrolordieselinvehicles.Thecarbonintensityofliquidairdependsonthesourceofelectricityusedtomakeitandmostindustrialliqueersoperateatnightwhengreenhousegasemissionsofgridelectricityarelowerthanaverage.Newliqueerscouldbeintegratedwithrenewablestoproduceeffectivelyzerocarbonliquidair.Liquidairandnitrogenareinanycasezero-emissionfuelsattheirpointofuseofferingthesamepotentialfordramaticlocalairqualityimprovementaselectricityorhydrogen.Aliquidairengineislikelytobesignicantlyquieterthanawell-silencedpetrolordieselengineandwouldbemadeofcommonandeasilyrecyclablematerials.Liquidairisnotyetproducedcommerciallybutliquidnitrogenwhichmakesupfourfthsoftheatmosphereandcanbeusedinthesamewayasliquidairisproducedthroughouttheindustrialisedworld.Theindustrialgascompanieshavelargeamountsofsparenitrogenproductioncapacityforthesimplereasonthereisfarmorenitrogenthanoxygenintheatmospherebutproportionatelylesscommercialdemand.Thissurpluscouldbeusedinplaceofliquidairtosupportearlydeploymentseemaintext.Infutureliquidairwouldbecheapertoproducethanliquidnitrogenbecausethereisnoneedtoseparatethenitrogenandoxygenmeaningliquefactionrequireslessequipmentandaroundafthlessenergy.BOX1Whatisliquidair