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Jacob Leachman Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory

Cool. Fuel.

Cool. Fuel.

The only cryogenic hydrogen research laboratory in US academia.

Innovating electrofuels since 2010.

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Innovations

Cryogenic Origami Bellows

Imagine the challenge of storing and reliably dispensing fuel at -421°F, the temperature of liquid hydrogen. Go one step further — try it in microgravity. Not hard enough? If a vapor bubble leaves the bottom of the tank you’ll explode the turbo of your engine.

Heisenberg Vortex

One of the greatest issues in developing a sustainable hydrogen economy is the issue of infrastructure. This project found that tube geometry can help cool gases, requiring less energy to keep fuel at cryogenic temperatures.

Genii

The first liquid hydrogen fueled drone by a University. Fourteen flights proved the airframe, electric propulsion, and guidance systems were working beautifully, and extensive ground testing and characterization of the hydrogen systems showed the fuel cell hydrogen powertrain was up to the task.

Get Involved

Interested in helping the lab? The HYPER Lab appreciates new partners for projects, on-campus work, and facility use. Get involved today.

Ways to get involved


Featured posts

  • Sustaining the Media Library

    Introduction

    So you found yourself with extra time—maybe your team is waiting on a part, or you’re just looking to log more hours this week—and you’re not sure what to work on. I have an idea for you… help us finish the big push on cleaning up the media library!

    The media library is the thorn in everyone’s side when it comes to making changes to the website. Since we don’t like thorns here at HYPER, it’s time to do some spring cleaning (or whatever season it might be when you read this). Assigning titles and categories to all the images/videos in the media library … » More …

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  • Growing the future — 3D printing cryogenic heat exchangers

    (This is a pre-print of my May ‘Cool. Fuel.’ article for Cold Facts — the magazine of the Cryogenic Society of America.)

    Back when I was a Ph.D student at Wisconsin the machine that saved many of my days was a Bridgeport manual end mill conveniently located in the basement of the lab. So when I setup the HYPER lab’s manufacturing space at Washington State I found an old Bridgeport clone to place in our manufacturing area. Yes it’s even older now. While it’s still used some for drilling and tapping operations, a new additive manufacturing project led by Jordan Raymond in my lab is … » More …

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  • How to Write a Post

    Introduction

    After a year of COVID, most of our research took place at home and online. This stressed the importance of presenting our findings in an organized online matter to attract other talent and encourage hydrogen research around the globe. After joining the CORE team in early September 2020, it became our job to seek out the lab’s research and post it online, whether that was a YouTube video, Instagram post, or blog post. As the months went on, we developed a system to create consistency between the different types of content and link them together for more information. It also became apparent that … » More …

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  • Join the CHARGE! — The Consortium for Hydrogen and Renewably Generated Electrofuels at WSU

    I’m all charged up this morning about CHARGE — Washington State University’s (WSU’s) new Consortium for Hydrogen and Renewably Generated Electrofuels.

    What is an electrofuel?

    A high-value, storable, energy product created from hydrogen generated by renewable means like electricity, wind, or solar power. With no fossil fuel resources in the state, Washington has the potential to use electrofuels to eliminate carbon emissions across multiple sectors:

    Why WSU?

    A couple of years ago I looked around the country for a center specifically devoted towards hydrogen and electrofuels … » More …

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  • Living hinges can be really cool

    This is a preprint of my February column “Cool Fuel” in Cold Facts Magazine by the Cryogenic Society of America.

    In the June issue of ColdFacts (V. 36, No. 3 2020) I talked about how we’re learning to be more flexible while keeping our cool (a nod to the pandemic). The fun take away though was the realization that thin film polymer origami bellows could flex 100’s of times immersed in liquid nitrogen without fracturing – my new favorite liquid nitrogen (LN2) demonstration. But it didn’t last long (as my favorite demo that is) due to Francis Dunne, a new PhD student in … » More …

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  • How to Build a Cryogenic Plumbing Manifold

    Plumbing manifolds on a cryogenic system are just as essential for functionality as proper electrical wiring from a simple light switch to an overhead light. Just like a wire sends current from point A to point B, a plumbing manifold can send hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, and other gasses from point A to B. The number of complex functions performed by plumbing manifolds leads to complexity that approaches integrated circuit boards. However, much less information, not to mention engineering standards, are available on how to reliably construct custom plumbing manifolds for research purposes. This post overviews the systems we have developed at HYPER for academic research … » More …

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  • Why liquid hydrogen?

    I’m continually surprised that the HYPER lab remains the only cryogenic hydrogen research lab in US academia. But then again, I find myself continually having to fight for liquid hydrogen, even to hydrogen experts. Hydrogen liquefies at atmospheric pressure only after cooling below 20 K (-420°F), you cannot liquefy hydrogen by increasing pressure. This requirement to make something that cold (a.k.a. cryogenics) is technically challenging. However, in 2012, liquid hydrogen accounted for over 90% of small merchant hydrogen utilization in the US. Yet, only a few legacy companies have the knowledge base necessary to handle liquid hydrogen, and the last academic lab in the US … » More …

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  • How the alumni changed me for the better

    Last week I had the pleasure of talking with Jenna Kriebel and AnneMarie Hunter from the WSU Foundation about the impact of alumni donations and philanthropy for the HYPER laboratory (and my career). Throughout my collegiate experience, first as a student athlete and now faculty, I’ve benefited from the generous donations of Land-Grant alumni. Yes, the Land-Grant institutions are public and state supported, but that public support is often literally the general minimum, which sometimes just isn’t enough. Although I’ve written about the many moments that alumni support was perfectly timed to make a difference in keeping us afloat, the conversation with Jenna and … » More …

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  • Leidenfrost Dusting as a Novel Tool for Dust Mitigation

    Lunar dust is an extremely abrasive material that can critically damage and compromise electronics, clothing, and life support systems. In addition, Astronaut Harrison Schmitt and others experienced an ailment they described as “lunar hay fever” from inhalation of lunar dust. Previous removal techniques using brushes, vacuums, and other fluid washes proved ineffective. These methods provided insufficient dust removal and often could damage systems. However, we may have found a solution using the dusting effect of cryogenic liquids.

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  • Systemic Logistics of a Hydrogen Economy Part 2: The Production Problem

    In this multi-part series I’m considering the many logistical challenges of the upcoming hydrogen economy. In Part 1 I considered the people necessary to start and sustain the hydrogen economy. In the subsequent parts/posts I’ll follow the hydrogen through the logistical supply chain to end use. This post is on hydrogen production. Transfer will be Part 3. End use will be Part 4.

    Let me be up front that my expertise is hydrogen properties, storage, and distribution (i.e. logistics), and not production. Back in 2005 I saw everyone running into the production and power side (performance minded folks have a tendency towards power) and … » More …

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