Novel Method for Measurement of the Para-Content of a Hydrogen-Stream

  • J. Clausen
  • A. Hofmann
  • M. Wanner
Part of the A Cryogenic Engineering Conference Publication book series (ACRE, volume 41)


Hydrogen at ambient temperature is a mixture of 75% ortho- and 25% para-hydrogen whilst it is 100% para-hydrogen at boiling temperature. Hydrogen liquefaction processes use catalysts to stepwise convert normal-hydrogen to para-hydrogen during cooldown to cryogenic temperatures. This conversion at different temperature levels is necessary to avoid release of the heat of conversion in the liquid state which would result in losses due to enhanced evaporation. Therefore customers can expect to receive a liquid hydrogen quality with a para-content of almost 100% from their gas supplier.

A novel technique was developed1 to precisely measure the para content during cool-down of the hydrogen as well as of the liquid product. The measurement principle is based on the caloric differences of ortho- and para-hydrogen. A direct determination of the para-concentration is accomplished by using a simple measurement of a temperature difference and is therefore superior to previous techniques which are based on the thermal conductivity of hydrogen. The new method was experimentally verified. It has shown a very close agreement with theory.

This paper describes the novel method along with the experimental apparatus and the test results. Based on the experimental setup an industrialized instrument was developed and is now available. It features a direct readout of the para-content of the measured hydrogen stream.


Liquid Hydrogen Hydrous Ferric Oxide Para Content Hydrogen Stream Adiabatic Reactor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    M.Wanner, Process and Device for Determination the Para Content of a Hydrogen Gas Stream, Patent applications in Germany, US and Japan pendingGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    V.J.Johnson, Properties of Materials at Low Temperature (Phasel) A Compendium, Pergamon Press (1961)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hydrogen Technology Survey — Thermophysical Properties NASA-SP 3089 (1975)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hydrous Ferric Oxide catalyst made by IONEX Research Corporation, Broomfield CO (USA)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Clausen
    • 1
  • A. Hofmann
    • 2
  • M. Wanner
    • 2
  1. 1.LOTEPRO CorporationValhallaUSA
  2. 2.Process Engineering and Contracting DivisionLINDE AGHöllriegelskreuthGermany

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