The University of Western Australia has entered the increasingly competitive field of ammonia energy research in Australia, announcing a collaborative agreement to develop "the world's first practical ammonia-powered vehicle" as well as an "ammonia-based hydrogen production plant."
These goals are supported by funding from the R&D arm of Shenhua Group, formerly a coal company but now "China's largest hydrogen producer with a production capacity to power 40 million fuel cell passenger cars."
Over the last few weeks, I've written extensively about sustainable ammonia synthesis projects funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE). While these projects are important, the US has no monopoly on technology development. Indeed, given the current uncertainty regarding energy policy under the Trump administration, the US may be at risk of stepping away from its assumed role as an industry leader in this area.
This article introduces seven international projects, representing research coming out of eight countries spread across four continents. These projects span the breadth of next-generation ammonia synthesis research, from nanotechnology and electrocatalysis to plasmas and ionic liquids.
In an interview today, Dr. Yaoli Zhang from Xiamen University discussed the case for integrating ammonia production with nuclear power. Dr. Zhang is currently a Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.
The idea would be to harness both unused generating capacity and waste heat to produce ammonia with a near-zero carbon footprint.
Ammonia energy proponents look forward to the day when their fuel is used in internal combustion engines – but the state of this art is unsettled and it is not clear which combustion technologies will win in the end.
Researchers from Fujian Province presented their work at the 2016 NH3 Fuel Conference, and introduced the far-reaching plans of the Ammonia Fuel Synergy group at the College of Energy, Xiamen University, in China.
Forest (Zhaolin) Wang's presentation, Ammonia as a Key to Meeting the Fuel Demand of China, contained valuable insight into the potential of ammonia fuel in China, and outlined the group's roadmaps for developing an ammonia-natural gas dual fueled car by 2018, and an ammonia-methanol dual fuel car by 2020.