Ammonia Generation By Low Energy Electrical Corona Discharge Processes


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Ammonia is considered as an important chemical used in agriculture, household cleaning and manufacturing. Mass production of ammonia mostly uses the Haber-Bosch process, reacting hydrogen and nitrogen. However, this process requires a moderately-elevated temperature (450°C) and high pressure (100 bar). Therefore, the development of technologies to produce ammonia with a moderate operation condition and a higher energy efficiency would have a positive economic impact and simulate new approaches in industrial chemistry.

Reactors enable single discharge and multi-discharge operation have been built, and their performance proves the concept of conversion of nitrogen and hydrogen and demonstrates the ability to produce ammonia. Microtechnology has been combined with this corona discharge technology because microscale geometry provides strong gradients with respect to temperature, concentration, pressure, and reactive species and the efficient heat and energy management [1]. In order to identify which parameters are most important in the optimization of the conversion process, the experimental design has been developed as a guide for experimental work. Major parameters under investigation include the power level per discharge, the discharge gap, the reactive gas flow rate, the composition of reactant gases, and the gas pressure.


[1] D. Mariotti, R. M. Sankaran (2010), “Microplasmas for nanomaterials synthesis,” Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 43 (32), pp. 323001.

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