The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced on July 1 that a research team led by Dr. Kim Seo-young from the Green City Technology Institute at KIST established a venture firm early this year called “Hydrium Industry” after successfully developing a method to liquefy and store hydrogen.
Dr. Kim will lead the company as CEO after being approved by KIST's committee that reviews new businesses.
It is possible to store the gas as high-pressure hydrogen and to transport in the form of hydrogen oxide. But larger amounts can be stored by being converted into liquefied hydrogen.
In recent years, the use of liquefied hydrogen has expanded to the aerospace, auto, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industries, as the development of fuel cells has been active. Moreover, the size of the market has been bigger.
In the 1960s, liquefied hydrogen was first utilized as rocket fuel in the US, but it was banned from being exported due to its designation as cutting-edge space and military technology. Liquefied hydrogen was impossible to make in the nation for technical reasons.
After years of research and development efforts starting from 1996, the research team finally succeeded in developing top-notch hydrogen liquefiers, storage vessels, and cryogenic equipment early this year.
A system that provides liquefied hydrogen can increase the operating time of existing fuel cells and hydrogen internal combustion engines by at least three or four times.
Based on price competitiveness and a competitive advantage in technology, Hydrium Industry aims to create new markets in the military and medical fields. It will do so by supplying liquefied hydrogen to cryogen transfer pipes and storage vessels.
On top of that, the company is intensifying efforts to develop liquefied hydrogen fuel tanks and batteries for UAVs and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).
Dr. Kim remarked, “Liquefied hydrogen is an important energy source that can create new markets. So, I'm proud of making it.” He concluded by saying, “I'll try hard to contribute to the local aerospace industry by participating in space development and moon exploration programs.”