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Science AMA: I’m Jamie Holladay, a researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) where we are using high-field magnets to produce low-cost liquid hydrogen. AMA!
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Corresponding Author:jamie5091@thewinnower.com

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Hi Reddit! Sunday, October 8th, is National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, so let’s look at how far hydrogen fuel cell technology has come, and more importantly, where emerging technologies can take us. For decades, hydrogen fuel cells were an aspirational technology. Today, this ultra-low emission technology is on the brink of mainstream adoption, but it will require widespread support of a hydrogen supply and refueling infrastructure. The Achilles heel of this clean energy future: generating enough liquid hydrogen at a low enough cost. Hydrogen—the most abundant element in the universe—must be cooled to ~20 K (-253 °C/-423 °F) – and that’s currently a rather energy-intensive process. At PNNL (with partners at Emerald Energy NW, LLC, and AMES Laboratory), we’re developing a novel approach based on magnetocaloric refrigeration. The system works by taking advantage of a physical phenomenon called the magnetocaloric effect. We believe this new method can reduce the cost of liquefying hydrogen by 25 percent or more. I’ll be back here at 12 am PST (3 pm EST) to answer your questions. Update: Dr. John Barclay, the inventor of active magnetic regenerators, a partner on our work, is also joining us this day. He is the President and CTO of Emerald Energy NW LLC. Update: Thank you for your questions, Reddit! We will check back later to follow up on these threads. In the meantime, read more on this research area at http://energyenvironment.pnnl.gov/highlights/highlight.asp?id=2487. And to learn more about our work in energy, visit https://energyenvironment.pnnl.gov/. We also encourage you to follow PNNL on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PNNLgov and Twitter at @PNNLab and for more energy-focused topics on Twitter, @energyPNNL. You’ll also find PNNL on Google+ and LinkedIn. Thanks again!