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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory Thomas Blackham

Thomas Blackham










I have been researching under the direction of Dr. Jacob Leachman in the HYPER lab since 2012. Dr. Leachman introduced me to thermodynamics at a cryogenic level and I have never looked back. I am currently working on the development of Equations of State of Binary Fluids at Cryogenic Temperatures.

I have recently finished and submitted for editing a journal article titled: Thermodynamic Property Models for Binary Mixtures Containing Methanol (CH3OH). This article presents EOS of binary mixtures I created and  have implemented in REFPROP. The mixtures presented contain Methanol mixed with the following fluids: Oxygen (O2), Methane (CH4), Ammonia (NH3), Water (H20), Ethylene (C2H4), Ethane (C2H6), Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), Argon (Ar), Propylene (C3H6), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Propane(C3H8), Acetone (C3H6O), Butane and Isobutane (C4H10), Pentane and Isopentane (C5H12), Benzene (C6H6), Cyclohexane (C6H12), Hexane (C6H14), Toluene (C7H8), Heptane (C7H16), Octane (C8H18), Nonane (C9H20), and Decane (C10H22).

The ability to accurately know the properties of a fluid or mixture at varying compositions, pressures, and/or densities significantly enhances our ability to invent, create, and improve the use of alternative and clean energy sources. Equations of State (EOS) are used to determine the thermodynamic properties of fluids and mixtures and allow us better efficiency in using them. As of today, EOS of cryogenic fluid mixtures at cryogenic temperatures do not exist or are outdated. I am developing a mixture model specific to binary mixtures of cryogenic fluids. This model will be used to create EOS of cryogenic mixtures. I have created a preliminary EOS of Neon/Helium and Methane/Hydrogen. I am currently combining both mixtures to create a mixture model that accurately represents both EOS. Once achieved, I will continue to expand this model to incorporate all cryogenic fluids.

I have recently completed and am in the process of publishing the cryogenic mixture of hydrogen and helium with the first ever experimental density measurements for this mixture.

After my time in the HYPER lab I taught courses in Mechanical Engineering at BYU-Idaho and am now employed by Flour Marine Propulsion at the Idaho National Laboratory.