Electrochemical ammonia synthesis in South Korea

One of the many encouraging announcements at the recent Power-to-Ammonia conference in Rotterdam was the news that the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) has extended funding for its electrochemical ammonia synthesis research program by another three years, pushing the project forward through 2019.

The basic premise of the electrochemical approach is to produce ammonia directly from atmospheric nitrogen (N2) and water (H2O) using electricity in an electrolytic cell (which is akin to a fuel cell in reverse). While many variations of this technology have been demonstrated in recent decades, none have produced enough ammonia to be commercial (yet).

The KIER team has been working on electrochemical ammonia synthesis for at least five years already, and presented results at the annual NH3 Fuel Conference since 2012.

Click to enlarge. Progress and Perspectives of Sustainable Ammonia Synthesis, Chung-Yul Yoo et al, KIER, May 2017
Now, KIER’s research target for 2019 is significant: to demonstrate an ammonia production rate of 1×10-7 mol/s·cm2.

If the KIER team can hit this target, not only would it be ten thousand times better than their 2012 results but, according to the numbers I’ll provide below, it would be the closest an electrochemical ammonia synthesis technology has come to being commercially competitive.

Read the full article at AmmoniaIndustry.com.

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