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Arpa-E Refuel Program: Distributed Production of Ammonia and Its Conversion to Energy

Ammonia, which has high energy density in easily produced liquid form and can be converted to electric or motive power, is considered to be an almost ideal non-carbon energy vector in addition to its common use as a fertilizer. It can be manufactured anywhere using the Haber-Bosch process, effectively stored, transported and used in combustion engines and fuel cells as well as a hydrogen carrier. Transition from fossil fuels as the energy source and feedstock to intermittent renewable energy sources will require a shift from large scale Haber-Bosch plants (1,000 – 1,500 t/day) to distributed ammonia production matching electrical power…

Paper

Future of Ammonia Production: Improvement of Haber-Bosch Process or Electrochemical Synthesis?

Ammonia, the second most produced chemical in the world (176 million tons in 2014), is manufactured at large plants (1,000 – 1,500 t/day) using Haber-Bosch process developed more than hundred years ago. A simple reaction of nitrogen and hydrogen (produced by steam methane reforming or coal gasification) consumes about 2% of world energy, in part due to the use of high pressure and temperature. With the global transition from fossil fuels to intermittent renewable energy sources there is a need for long term storage and long range transmission of energy, for which ammonia is perfect fit. To make it practical,…

Paper

Ammonia for Energy Storage and Delivery

The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) funds high risk, high reward transformational research to reduce energy related emissions, reduce imports of energy from foreign sources, improve energy efficiency across all economic sectors, and ensure US technological lead in advanced energy technologies, including electrochemical energy storage and transformation for grid scale and automotive applications. Storing energy in the form of liquid fuels has numerous advantages compared to conventional methods of energy storage (ES) such as batteries (high cost, short cycle life), pumped hydro and compressed air (low energy density). Low costs of storage and transportation of liquid fuels enables long-time ES…