The Academy hosted a discussion meeting yesterday on the potential of using liquid air as a new and sustainable vector for both energy storage and transport, attended by academics, industrialists and investors in the energy field.

The Centre for Low Carbon Futures launched a report at the meeting on whether liquid air could provide a credible alternative to existing energy storage systems and low carbon transport solutions to better harness renewables and deliver energy security. Liquid Air in the energy and transport systems also looks at the possible economic value of this technology to UK PLC.

The report is based on contributions from a wide range of energy experts including world-class consultancies such as Arup, Poyry and Ricardo, the German industrial gases company Messer, and academics from the Universities of Leeds, Birmingham, Strathclyde, Brighton and Imperial College.

The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers have been at the forefront of the debate on energy storage both in UK and internationally. A series of round table debates with a number of key industries fed into the report and are being reported upon at today’s meeting.

Professor Richard A Williams OBE, FREng, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham, says: “An urgent debate is needed around the opportunities that liquid air may offer in providing a step-change (downwards) in the cost of providing secure energy storage - especially as an alternative to battery technologies in vehicles - and to provide a real solution to the challenges of relying on renewable energy resources."

Notes for editors

  1. The report Liquid Air in the energy and transport systems is available at the Centre for Low Carbon Futures web site  www.lowcarbonfutures.org
  2. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0636; email: Jane Sutton