Category: USA

NH3 Energy +: More Information on the Topical Conference

NH3 Fuel Association President Norm Olson made three announcements this week about specific aspects of the “NH3 Energy+: Enabling Optimized, Sustainable Energy and Agriculture” Topical Conference.

The Topical Conference will be held on Wednesday November 1 and Thursday November 2 as part of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis in the U.S.

The first announcement pertains to a conference registration discount for members of the NH3 Fuel Association (NH3FA).

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Next-generation ammonia tech: biohybrid nanoparticles

Sustainable ammonia can be produced today: doing so would use electrolyzers to make hydrogen to feed the traditional Haber-Bosch process. In a very few years, new technologies will skip this hydrogen production phase altogether and make ammonia directly from renewable power in an electrochemical cell. Further down the pipeline, next generation technologies will mimic nature, specifically the nitrogenase enzyme, which produces ammonia naturally.

One of these next generation technologies is currently producing impressive results at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

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Program Announced for NH3 Energy+ Topical Conference

The program for the “NH3 Energy+: Enabling Optimized, Sustainable Energy and Agriculture” Topical Conference is now available for viewing on the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Web portal.  The Topical Conference will be held as part of the AIChE's Annual Meeting in Minneapolis in the U.S. on Wednesday November 1 and Thursday November 2.  The enveloping AIChE meeting will extend from Sunday October 29 through Friday November 3.  “NH3 Energy+” is the 2017 edition of the NH3 Fuel Conference that has been held every year since 2004. 

A total of 43 papers will be presented, with 40 spread across five oral presentation sessions and three in a poster session. 

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Sustainable ammonia synthesis: SUNCAT’s lithium-cycling strategy

New research coming out of Stanford University suggests a fascinating new direction for electrochemical ammonia synthesis technology development.

The US-Danish team of scientists at SUNCAT, tasked with finding new catalysts for electrochemical ammonia production, saw that 'selectivity' posed a tremendous challenge - in other words, most of the energy used by renewable ammonia production systems went into making hydrogen instead of making ammonia.

The new SUNCAT solution does not overcome this selectivity challenge. It doesn't even try. Instead, these researchers have avoided the problem completely.

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The Ammonia Economy at the ACS National Meeting

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has published the program for its 2017 National Meeting, which takes place next month in Washington DC and includes a session dedicated to the "Ammonia Economy."

The first day of the week-long meeting, Sunday August 20th, will feature a full morning of technical papers from the US, UK, and Japan, covering ammonia energy topics across three general areas: producing hydrogen from ammonia, developing new catalysts for ammonia synthesis and oxidation, and storing ammonia in solid chemical form.

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REFUEL Is Back on Track

The U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E REFUEL Program, whose continued existence seemed to be in doubt two months ago, now appears to be back on track.  Invitations were sent a week ago for the ARPA-E REFUEL Program Kickoff, an event that was originally scheduled for April 25 and 26 in Houston.  It is now scheduled to take place in Denver on August 16, 17, and 18.  Attendance will be by invitation only.

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Ammonia Energy at the H2@Scale Workshop

“Carbon-free ammonia needs to be a significant contributor to the H2@Scale initiative.” This was one of the “key takeaways” offered by Steve Szymanski, Director of Business Development at the hydrogen generator company Proton On-Site, during his presentation at the H2@Scale Workshop that was held on May 23-24 at the University of Houston in the U.S. By the time Szymanski left the podium, ammonia energy had moved a good distance from the periphery of the H2@Scale conceptual map toward its center.

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Second Day Added to NH3 Energy+ Conference

The “NH3 Energy+: Enabling Optimized, Sustainable Energy and Agriculture” Topical Conference, originally conceived as a one-day event, has been extended to a second day, according to NH3 Fuel Association (NH3FA) President Norm Olson. “NH3 Energy+” is the 2017 edition of the NH3 Fuel Conference that has been held every year since 2004. This year it will be held under the auspices of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Annual Meeting in Minneapolis in the U.S.

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The Hydrogen Consensus

Let’s say there is such a thing as the “hydrogen consensus.” Most fundamentally, the consensus holds that hydrogen will be at the center of the sustainable energy economy of the future. By definition, hydrogen from fossil fuels will be off the table. Hydrogen from biomass will be on the table but the amount that can be derived sustainably will be limited by finite resources like land and water. This will leave a yawning gap (in the U.S., 60-70% of total energy consumption) that will be filled with the major renewables -- wind, solar, and geothermal -- and nuclear energy.

This may be as far as the consensus goes today, but more detail is now emerging on the global system of production and use that could animate a hydrogen economy.

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The new generation of fuel cells: fast, furious, and flexible

At ARPA-E's recent Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC, Program Director Grigorii Soloveichik presented his vision for the future of transportation: hybrid electric vehicles that combine the advantages of both plug-in battery and fuel cell technologies.

This "optimal solution" will require a new generation of fuel cell that is "fast, furious, and flexible." Fast, in terms of start-up / shut-down time. Furious, in terms of energy density. And flexible, in terms of fuel choice - specifically sustainable liquid fuels, like ammonia.

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