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Carbon Pricing and the Economics of Green Ammonia

The United States Senate is expected to open confirmation hearings for Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson on January 11. Tillerson, newly retired from Exxon Mobil, became the chief executive officer of that company in 2006. He has attracted many labels since his nomination was announced, but “climate denier” is not among them.

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REFUEL Ammonia Use-Side Funding Awards

Six of the projects designated for funding by the ARPA-E REFUEL announcement on December 15 involve technologies on the use side of the ammonia energy space. Three focus on generating hydrogen from ammonia. Two focus on fuel cells that convert ammonia to electricity. One project involves both ammonia synthesis and use.

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University of Minnesota’s Ammonia Program

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) will present a Webinar on December 21 on "Distributed Ammonia Synthesis." The presenter will be Edward L. Cussler, Distinguished Institute Professor at the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department of the University of Minnesota. Distributed ammonia synthesis is one focus related to ammonia energy at the University of Minnesota - but just one. In fact, UMinn is the locus of a unique and globally significant collection of research efforts that promise to have significant impacts in the ammonia industry and the broader energy sector.

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Breakthrough Energy Coalition targets carbon-free ammonia

A multi-billion dollar clean energy innovation fund was launched last year, at the Paris climate conference. Led by Bill Gates, the private funding enterprise aimed to develop "groundbreaking new carbon-neutral technologies," without specifying details. Now, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition is starting work, and one of its initial Technical Quests is to make "Zero-GHG Ammonia Production" a reality.

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Integrating Ammonia Production with Nuclear Power

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.

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Grand Challenges in Sustainable Ammonia Synthesis – DOE Roundtable Report, 2016

Earlier this year, the US Department of Energy (DOE) hosted a day-long meeting "to explore the scientific challenges associated with discovering alternative, sustainable processes for ammonia production." The report that came out of this roundtable discussion presents the participants' views on "the current state-of-the-art and the potential challenges and research opportunities ... for heterogeneous catalysis and homogeneous and enzyme catalysis."

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Nuon’s Power-to-Ammonia update, and the first European ammonia fuel conference in 2017

An article in the latest issue of Dutch-language magazine NPT Proces Technologie provides a detailed update on the Nuon project, about which we wrote a few months ago. Nuon's Power-to-Ammonia project looks at grid-scale storage of "seasonal surplus" electricity from wind and solar in the form of ammonia. Proton Ventures, the originators of the Power-to-Ammonia concept in The Netherlands, have also been sharing details of the project in recent conference presentations - and announced that they will be hosting the first European ammonia fuel conference, in Rotterdam, in May 2017.

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NH3 Fuel Association President Presents at AIChE Annual Meeting

NH3 Fuel Association President Norm Olson presented his paper “NH3 – the Optimal Liquid Transportation Fuel” on November 9 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The AIChE meeting, held over six days in San Francisco, provided a wide-ranging perspective on the sustainable energy landscape that ammonia energy must compete within.

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Coordinated scission of N-H bonds

A paper published in this week's edition of Science outlines a new approach to breaking the hydrogen-nitrogen bonds in ammonia, allowing the production of hydrogen at low temperatures. This research was also reported on phys.org under the headline: "Method found for pulling hydrogen from ammonia for use as clean fuel."