Cryogenics

Cryogenics enables technological leaps in numerous markets linked to the energy transition and space.

Cryogenics is the production, maintenance and use of cold below
below -150°C. To reach these temperatures, gases are cooled
and even liquefy them. Cryogenics is used
in space, scientific research and industry.

Over a century of progress

Over a century of progress

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Ice was first produced at the end of the 19th century, and was first used to freeze food. Research then made it possible to liquefy gases. Advances have led to the discovery that low temperatures can modify the behavior of cooled elements.

Today, cryogenics is a central element in various fields of industry and research.

  • Industry

    Research

    Liquefaction, storage and transport:

    Liquefied gases, thermal insulation

    Space:

    Propulsion, sensor cooling

    Superconductivity:

    Levitating trains, electric aircraft propulsion…

    Medical:

    Cryopreservation, cryosurgery, MRI.

  • Industry

    Research

    Low-temperature measurement:

    Materials studies

    Gas pedals and particle physics:

    Magnets, cavities

    Controlled nuclear fusion:

    Magnetic confinement

    Astrophysics:

    Observation sensors

  • Industry

    Research

    Liquefaction, storage and transport:

    Liquefied gases, thermal insulation

    Space:

    Propulsion, sensor cooling

    Superconductivity:

    Levitating trains, electric aircraft propulsion…

    Medical:

    Cryopreservation, cryosurgery, MRI.

  • Industry

    Research

    Low-temperature measurement:

    Materials studies

    Gas pedals and particle physics:

    Magnets, cavities

    Controlled nuclear fusion:

    Magnetic confinement

    Astrophysics:

    Observation sensors

The study of cryogenics to understand physical phenomena

The study of cryogenics to understand physical phenomena

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Cryogenics, a scientific history

Cryogenics was first a subject of scientific study at the end of the 19th century, the beginnings of which are already strongly associated with research and innovation.

James Prescott Joule and William Thomson show that rapid expansion of a gas can lead to significant cooling.

Cailletet and Pictet succeeded in liquefying oxygen and nitrogen, but they encountered a problem storing these gases.

James Dewar solved the storage problem by developing the first cryostat to store cryogenic liquids, making it easier to work with liquefied gases.

Cryogenics enhances performance and makes advantageous physical phenomena possible, improving our understanding of certain materials. Indeed, when a gas is cooled to cryogenic temperatures, interesting chemical reactions take place, including the transition from the gaseous to the liquid state of elements.

As well as being ultra-cold, cryogenic gases can generate enormous power. This is why cryogenics is often the subject of physical studies.

Cryogenics and its applications

Cryogenics is a technology that can be applied in many fields, such as:

Liquid nitrogen is used for medical treatments and to preserve complex biological structures. Cryogenics is also used to cool the sensors of certain imagers and to operate MRI, NMR, etc.

Cryogenics is also used in the space industry, for launchers and observation satellites.
Launchers carry propellants in liquid form (LOX, LH2) to optimise their density.
Cryogenics is used to optimise the performance of observation satellite detectors.

Cryogenics is used in the superconductivity sector to design electric motors and superconducting circuits for the aeronautics industry.

Hydrogen liquefaction is a response to the ecological transition, which requires a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.

Biogas can be purified and liquefied using cryogenics. Once liquefied, biogas can be transported more easily.

By cooling cables to cryogenic temperatures, it is possible to make them superconducting, thereby improving energy transportation.
By cooling magnets, it is possible to generate intense fields.

Improving scientific and
and industrial research

The production, maintenance and use of ultra-cold temperatures thanks to cryogenics enable technological leaps forward and are a constant companion to scientific research and industrial innovation centers.

For over a century, scientists have sought to understand the benefits and specificities of using cryogenics in various fields. Today, industrial and scientific research into cryogenics is focused on renewable energies, with the aim of proposing innovative cryogenic solutions to support the energy transition.

Improving scientific and
and industrial research

The production, maintenance and use of ultra-cold temperatures thanks to cryogenics enable technological leaps forward and are a constant companion to scientific research and industrial innovation centers.

For over a century, scientists have sought to understand the benefits and specificities of using cryogenics in various fields. Today, industrial and scientific research into cryogenics is focused on renewable energies, with the aim of proposing innovative cryogenic solutions to support the energy transition.

Cryogenics and its applications

Cryogenics is a technology that can be applied in many fields, such as :

Using cryogenics to liquefy nitrogen enables medical treatments to be carried out and complex biological structures to be preserved. Cryogenics can also be used to cool the sensors of certain imagers and to operate MRI, NMR, etc.

Industrial deep-freezing involves cooling foodstuffs to cryogenic temperatures. Liquefied gases are used for cryogenic cooling and product packaging. Cryogenics enables better food preservation.

Cryogenics is also used in the space industry to launch satellites. The use of cryogenic cold enhances the performance of observation satellite engines and sensors, for greater measurement efficiency.

Cryogenics enhances precision and efficiency in the aeronautics industry, eliminating any residual traces. The liquefaction of gases is increasingly present in transport, and in particular the liquefaction of hydrogen.

Biogas can be purified and liquefied using cryogenics. Once liquefied, biogas can be transported more easily.

By cooling magnets to cryogenic temperatures, it is possible to make them superconducting and thus improve energy transport.

Gaz cooling

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All gases can be cooled and change state, becoming liquid or even solid, depending on temperature and pressure.

The best-known gases used in cryogenics are helium and nitrogen, but there are also hydrogen, methane and neon, which are used in our lighting fixtures.

Each gas liquefies at its own specific temperature and pressure, depending on its composition. In cryogenics, we select the most appropriate gas according to the temperature to be expected and the state of use, liquid or gaseous – without it becoming solid. For example, helium can be cooled from -140°C to -268°C and used as a cooled gas, or made liquid by bringing it below -269°C or 4K and used in a circulation loop.

Cryogenic temperatures

Cryogenic temperatures

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The cryogenic range starts at -150°C and goes up to within a few microdegrees of absolute zero or zero Kelvin, the unit of measurement used in cryogenics.

This temperature of -273.15°C is the coldest temperature. It’s a theoretical, inaccessible temperature that could be compared to the temperature of the absolute vacuum.

Cooling cycles can be used to bring a gas down in temperature, either all at once or in stages. It is even possible to use other gases, such as liquid nitrogen, as an intermediate stage. The difference to be achieved is very large, and cryogenic systems must be as efficient as possible, but it can take several days to cool a large element such as an MRI superconducting coil.

Superconducting properties

Superconducting properties

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Superconductivity is a state obtained when an electrically conductive material such as copper or aluminum is cooled.

Thanks to cryogenics, the material’s properties change: it transports electricity without energy loss and creates a magnetic field around itself. Superconductivity is used in strategic sectors such as quantum computing, medical equipment and nuclear fusion.

Space cryogenics

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In addition to liquefied gases for shuttle propulsion, cryogenics ensures the smooth operation of many satellites.

In space, temperature is transmitted by radiation and varies according to positioning in relation to the sun. The sun-exposed side of a satellite can reach +150°C, while the shaded side can drop to -160°C. To keep electronics running smoothly, cryogenic coolers keep sensitive components at a constant temperature. They work better and longer, often lasting more than 10 years without maintenance.

Quantum digital

Quantum digital

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By cooling electronic components, Groupe Absolut increases the computing power of computers, without the need to increase their size, while reducing their power consumption.

Doing more computational operations, faster, is particularly useful for research (simulations, modeling, weather forecasting…). Quantum computing is still at the research stage. A quantum computer is a supercomputer that performs calculations much faster than traditional computers. The industrialization of true quantum computers is envisaged for 2028-2030.

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Gas cooling of gases

Gas cooling of gases

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All gases can be cooled and change state, becoming liquid or even solid, depending on temperature and pressure.

In cryogenics, the best-known and most widely used gases are helium (HMS link) and nitrogen, but there are also hydrogen, methane and neon, which we find in our lighting fixtures.

Each gas liquefies at its own specific temperature and pressure, depending on its composition. In cryogenics, the most appropriate gas is selected according to the temperature to be reached and whether it is to be used as a liquid or a gas – without becoming solid. For example, helium can be cooled from -140°C to -268°C and used as a cooled gas, or made liquid by bringing it below -269°C or 4K and used in a circulation loop.

Cryogenic temperatures

Cryogenic temperatures

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The cryogenic range starts at -150°C and goes up to within a few microdegrees of absolute zero or zero Kelvin, the unit of measurement used in cryogenics.

This temperature of -273.15°C is the coldest temperature. It’s a theoretical, inaccessible temperature that could be compared to the temperature of the absolute vacuum.

Cooling cycles can be used to bring a gas down in temperature, either all at once or in stages. It is even possible to use other gases, such as liquid nitrogen, as an intermediate stage. The difference to be achieved is very large, and cryogenic systems must be as efficient as possible, but it can take several days to cool a large element such as an MRI superconducting coil.

Superconducting properties

Superconducting properties

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Superconductivity is a state obtained when an electrically conductive material such as copper or aluminum is cooled.

Thanks to cryogenics, the material’s properties change: it transports electricity without energy loss and creates a magnetic field around itself. Superconductivity is used in strategic sectors such as quantum computing, medical equipment and nuclear fusion.

Space cryogenics

Space cryogenics

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In addition to liquefied gases for shuttle propulsion, cryogenics ensures the smooth operation of many satellites.

In space, temperature is transmitted by radiation and varies according to positioning in relation to the sun. The sun-exposed side of a satellite can reach +150°C, while the shaded side can drop to -160°C. To keep electronics running smoothly, cryogenic coolers keep sensitive components at a constant temperature. They work better and longer, often lasting more than 10 years without maintenance.

Quantum digital

Quantum digital

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By cooling electronic components, the Absolut Group increases the computing power of computers, without the need to increase their size, while reducing their power consumption.

Doing more computational operations, faster, is particularly useful for research (simulations, modeling, weather forecasting…). Quantum computing is still at the research stage. A quantum computer is a supercomputer that performs calculations much faster than traditional computers. The industrialization of true quantum computers is envisaged for 2028-2030.

Cryogenics for the energy transition

Cryogenics for the energy transition

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Cryogenics is a necessary technology for the decarbonization of energy production, transport and use.

It enables generators to be made more powerful, hydrogen to be used in liquid form and nuclear fusion to be carried out (without waste). Absolut System is developing technologies to enable short- and medium-haul aircraft, trains and ships to use liquid hydrogen as a fuel and emit no CO2.

Absolut System is internationally recognized for its key technologies enabling it to reach very low temperatures (from -180°C to -273°C). Our know-how has enabled us to break new technological ground in a number of fields linked to low-carbon energies (liquefied hydrogen, high-power wind turbines, mini nuclear reactors).

Absolut System is internationally recognized for its key technologies enabling it to reach very low temperatures (from -180°C to -273°C). Our know-how has enabled us to break new technological ground in a number of fields linked to low-carbon energies (liquefied hydrogen, high-power wind turbines, mini nuclear reactors).

Our products

Our products

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