Cryogenic Technology And Its Applications | ScienceMonk

Cryogenic technology refers to the technology that operates at a very low temperature, generally below 123K(-1500C). The temperature is such that the properties of materials that operate under it get drastically changed.

The reason for operating at cryogenic temperature is, of course, many. We are getting many unexpected results at cryogenic temperatures. The application of such technology includes the use of the cryogenic engine in the upper rocket stage.

At very high vacuum, Cryosurgery, Cryobiology, Cryoelectronic, and many more areas use this technology. Rocket engines need high mass flow rates of both oxidizer and fuel to generate useful thrust.

Cryogenic Technology

Oxygen, the simplest and most common oxidizer, is in the gas phase at standard temperature and pressure, as is the simplest fuel hydrogen. While it is possible to store propellants as pressurized gases, this would require large, heavy tanks that would make achieving orbital spaceflight difficult, if not impossible.

On the other hand, if the propellants are cooled sufficiently, they exist in the liquid phase at higher density and lower pressure, simplifying tankage. These cryogenic temperatures vary depending on the propellant, with liquid oxygen existing below −183 °C [90 K] and liquid hydrogen below −253 °C [20 K].

Since one or more of the propellants are in the liquid phase, all cryogenic rocket engines are either liquid-propellant rocket engines or hybrid rocket engines. By using Linde’s basic ideal cycle with some modifications, we can achieve such a temperature. Many places where a very high clean vacuum (10-5 torrs) are required at space and pharmaceutical industries. The use of cryopump using liquid nitrogen can give a clean and efficient vacuum using liquid nitrogen.

MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) machines need superconductive materials. The superconductivity phenomenon occurs at a very low temperature (below 4.2K). Therefore, liquid helium is used in MRI machines as a cryogenic liquid to give such a low-temperature environment.

Maglevs that levitate by magnetic attraction, the bottom of the train wraps around the guideway. Levitation magnets on the underside of the guideway are positioned to attract the opposite poles of magnets on the wraparound section of the maglev. This raises the train off the track. But the cryogenic technology makes it enable to maintain that superconductivity using liquid nitrogen.

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International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject, which will be the world’s largest magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment. It is an experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor.

This is like creating an artificial sun on earth in a controlled manner that can produce very high electricity of about 500 MW. The generation of this electricity requires a very less amount of fuel and can produce very high thermal energy which in turn can produce a good amount of electricity. In these processes, there is very less or negligible pollution. These facilities also require the huge setup of cryogenic facilities for maintaining a vacuum, creating a low-temperature environment for superconductivities as well as also for coolant purposes.

Electrostatic and magnetic rings have proven to be excellent machines in the storage of atomic and molecular ions, and to obtain ion beams with well-defined energies and low emittance for different kinds of crossed- and merged-beam experiments using lasers or neutral- or charged-particle beams.

The CSR is a next-generation cryogenic electrostatic ion storage ring whose purpose will be the study of molecular ion physics with the goal to perform experiments at wall temperatures below 10 K (required to reduce black-body radiation and to obtain molecular ions in their rotational ground states).

The cryogenic technology to maintain about 2K is required to maintain an extremely high vacuum (XHV) that will make it possible to reach the long beam storage times needed for the molecules to complete 1233 their rotational cooling by the emission of infrared radiation. The CSR will be bakeable up to 600 K to reach pressures of about 10-11mbar to 10-12 mbar at room temperature (RT) and to obtain XHV (less than 1000 molecules per cubic centimetre) at a wall temperature of 2 K.

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The combination of cryogenic and vacuum techniques is the critical design challenge since in most cases cryogenic materials and instrumentation cannot survive the high-temperature bakeout typically required for XHV systems. To test the cryogenic and vacuum technological aspects of the CSR, we are building a prototype. The first results and the status of current work with this prototype are presented herein.

The natural gas from its production station to distribution station is required to take as these are at gaseous phases that require huge vessel at very high pressure that makes the natural gas practically difficult to transfer. For example, natural gas is required to transfer from Qatar to India through sea using ships.

Our requirement is to take as much volume as possible that we can hold for transfer. This can only be possible when natural gas is converted into the liquid state. This requires us to bring down the temperature up to about 111K using cryogenic temperature.

The future generation hydrogen-fueled car will be one of the best possible care available. They can use hydrogen as fuel as well as requires oxygen of atmosphere to combustion. It results in very high energy density generation with a byproduct of water which is environment-friendly. Liquid hydrogen as cryogenic technology is required in this case.

The fluids that are used to bring down the temperature up to cryogenic temperature includes liquid nitrogen (77K boiling point at 1 atmosphere), liquid oxygen (90K), Liquid helium (4.1K), Liquid Hydrogen(20K), Liquid methane(111K).

Liquid nitrogen is produced commercially from the cryogenic distillation of liquified air or the liquefication of pure nitrogen derived from the air using pressure swing adsorption. An air compressor is used to compress filtered air to high pressure; the high-pressure gas is cooled back to ambient temperature and allowed to expand to low pressure.

The expanding air cools significantly (the Joule–Thomson effect), and further stages of expansion and distillation separate oxygen, nitrogen, and argon. The ideal basic cycle on which we bring down the temperature is the Linde cycle. All the practical cycles that are proposed later are the modification of the Linde cycle. The cryogenic technology will play a significant role in the future.

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