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Glickenhaus thinks that really cold hydrogen is the future of sustainable motoring

The race-car builder is testing a vehicle that can carry the element in its liquid form

This modified Glickenhaus Boot stores its frozen drink in the rear tank. PHOTO FROM GLICKENHAUS

Le Mans fans will surely recognize the name Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. This is a constructor of high-performance cars which regularly see action in endurance events. Apparently, the company has also been performing trials on a revolutionary type of fuel that could give batteries a run for their money.

Glickenhaus is presently doing experiments on hydrogen power. While the use of hydrogen is not exactly new anymore, the New York-based firm is looking to eke out as much energy from the element as possible. To do that, it believes that cryogenic hydrogen is the way to go.

The technical challenge is to produce a cryogenic storage solution that is suitable for production cars. PHOTO FROM GLICKENHAUS

Cryogenics is the science of the behavior of materials at very low temperatures. And when hydrogen is cooled to a rather frigid -253°C, it turns into liquid. This is far easier to store than hydrogen in its compressed gaseous state, which is how fuel-cell vehicles like the Toyota Mirai do it. According to Charles’s Law, volume is directly proportional to temperature. The lower the temperature, the lower the volume.

Glickenhaus believes that since a given vessel can store a larger amount of cryogenic hydrogen than compressed hydrogen, there is a lot more energy that can be extracted from it. And it is currently testing this hypothesis on a modified version of its Boot off-roader. The prototype has a large rear tank that stores the super-cooled hydrogen that powers its fuel cells.

Miggi Solidum

Professionally speaking, Miggi is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He pens the column ‘G-Force’.