CryoHex - Ultra-efficient cryogenic heat exchangers for liquid air energy storage

Lead Participant: Oxford Nanosystems Ltd


Renewable energy sources in the electricity sector will reach a global share of 60% by 2040, while the global demand for cooling in 2060 will overtake demand for heating. If nothing is done emissions will rise of over 1 billion of tonnes per year while 100s of extra GW in demand will threat the supply of clean energy. Liquid air energy storage (LAES) provides a unique way to supply clean power and cold through liquefaction and vaporization of liquid air, which acts as an energy vector at -196°C. Cryogenic heat exchangers (C-HEXs) are crucial components in LAES and virtually in any cryogenic process; they dominate the performance of the whole-system, accounting up to 50% of the inefficiencies. CryoHex project aims to develop a transformative coating technology for the surfaces of C-HEXs which will revolutionize the performance, value and business case of LAES and of similar cryogenic processes. The outcome will be a coating material capable to enhance heat transfer by >200% under cryogenic conditions and to increase efficiency by reducing heat transfer ‘delta-T’ below 2°C. This disruptive change in performance will allow LAES to be the leading technology for storage of power and cold, bringing benefit to the whole UK cryogenic industry while facilitating the realization of a ‘cold economy’.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Oxford Nanosystems Ltd, Didcot £153,840 £ 107,688


University of Birmingham, United Kingdom £113,295 £ 113,295


10 25 50