Future Ammonia Technologies: Electrochemical (part 2)

Last week, in Part 1 of this series on electrochemical ammonia synthesis technologies, I quoted a recent article by researchers at MIT that identified avenues for future research and development. One option was a biomimicry approach, learning from “enzymatic catalysts, such as nitrogenases,” which can “either be incorporated into or provide inspiration for the design of electrocatalytic processes.”

Click to enlarge. Loney et al, Exploring Peptide-Bound Catalysts for Electrochemical Ammonia Generation, November 2017

The nitrogenase enzyme, nature’s ammonia synthesis technology, was developed in an iterative innovation process, otherwise known as evolution, that took hundreds of millions of years to reach this level of efficiency. According to one group of electrochemists, who presented their results at the recent NH3 Energy+ conference, nitrogenase produces ammonia in nature with an enviable 66% process efficiency – so it’s no surprise that they are basing their industrial technology on it.

Read the full article at AmmoniaIndustry.com.

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