Improvement of Haber-Bosch: Adsorption vs. Absorption

At the recent NH3 Energy+ Topical Conference, Grigorii Soloveichik described the future of ammonia synthesis technologies as a two-way choice: Improvement of Haber-Bosch or Electrochemical Synthesis.

Soloveichik, the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E Program Director, concluded that while new electrochemical technologies promise “potentially lower energy consumption” in the long-term, improvements on the existing Haber-Bosch technology represent the “low hanging fruit” for near-term sustainable ammonia synthesis.

Two of these ARPA-E-funded Haber-Bosch improvement projects also presented papers at the conference. They are taking different approaches to the same problem: how to adapt the high-pressure, high-temperature, constant-state Haber-Bosch process to small-scale, intermittent renewable power inputs. One uses adsorption, the other uses absorption, but both remove ammonia from the synthesis loop, avoiding one of Haber-Bosch’s major limiting factors: separation of the product ammonia.

Read the full article at