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Liquid air technology to boost renewables

The report, “Liquid Air Technologies – a guide to the potential”, launched in the British Parliament yesterday shows how liquid air could help balance an electricity grid increasingly dominated by discontinuous renewables. Liquid air technology could also provide an energy storage, reduce CO2 and convert waste heat into usable energy.

The report was published by the Centre for Low Carbon Futures, Liquid Air Energy Network and the University of Birmingham.

The report explains how some renewable energy could be used to liquefy air as a means of storing energy, which could then be used to generate electricity when needed, and provide a convenient and low cost fuel for vehicles including buses and lorries.

A number of UK technologies are in development and demonstration with significant Government
support, including transport applications starting field trials next year. Transportation could be the first market with a secured a grant from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, to build and test a liquid air engine fitted in a commercial vehicle.

The report summarises the environmental and economic potential of each of the various liquid air technologies currently available or being developed, and then explores how these could integrate into the wider energy system to form a ‘liquid air economy’.

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