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NH3 Fuel Association Announces Charter Sponsors

The NH3 Fuel Association (NH3FA) has released the names of the organization’s charter group of sponsors. The common thread that unites the six companies? A conviction that ammonia energy represents a significant opportunity for their businesses. The sponsors are Yara, Nel Hydrogen, Airgas, Haldor Topsoe, Casale, and Terrestrial Energy.

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NH3 Safety

The relative safety of NH3 (ammonia) is one of the most debated topics surrounding the adoption of NH3 fuel. Inaccurate and misleading information has been widely circulated on the topic. A thorough examination of the facts will show that the use of NH3 in energy applications will not only meet the most stringent safety standards currently in place worldwide, but that NH3 will be safer to use than many leading transportation fuels. Two highly credible risk assessments analyze the safety of NH3 vs gasoline and other fuels, and both of them conclude that NH3 would be as safe as, or safer than, gasoline, methanol, LPG (propane), CNG (compressed natural gas), or hydrogen.

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Bio-Ammonia for fertilizer or fuel (a tale of two bacteria)

Today, we saw probably the single most important announcement in the five years that I've been tracking sustainable ammonia production technologies. Global ag-input giant Bayer and MIT-spin off Ginkgo Bioworks ("we design custom microbes") announced a USD $100 million investment to engineer nitrogen-fixing bacteria into seed coatings, potentially displacing ammonia from its fertilizer market. On the other side of the world, in the Philippines, researchers are developing another use for another bacteria: industrial-scale algal ammonia synthesis. This would allow ammonia to become a carbon-free biofuel, creating a new and much, much, much bigger market for ammonia: no longer fertilizer but energy.

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NH3 Energy +: More Information on the Topical Conference

NH3 Fuel Association President Norm Olson made three announcements this week about specific aspects of the “NH3 Energy+: Enabling Optimized, Sustainable Energy and Agriculture” Topical Conference. The Topical Conference will be held on Wednesday November 1 and Thursday November 2 as part of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis in the U.S. The first announcement pertains to a conference registration discount for members of the NH3 Fuel Association (NH3FA).

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Next-generation ammonia tech: biohybrid nanoparticles

Sustainable ammonia can be produced today: doing so would use electrolyzers to make hydrogen to feed the traditional Haber-Bosch process. In a very few years, new technologies will skip this hydrogen production phase altogether and make ammonia directly from renewable power in an electrochemical cell. Further down the pipeline, next generation technologies will mimic nature, specifically the nitrogenase enzyme, which produces ammonia naturally. One of these next generation technologies is currently producing impressive results at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

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Program Announced for NH3 Energy+ Topical Conference

The program for the “NH3 Energy+: Enabling Optimized, Sustainable Energy and Agriculture” Topical Conference is now available for viewing on the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Web portal.  The Topical Conference will be held as part of the AIChE's Annual Meeting in Minneapolis in the U.S. on Wednesday November 1 and Thursday November 2.  The enveloping AIChE meeting will extend from Sunday October 29 through Friday November 3.  “NH3 Energy+” is the 2017 edition of the NH3 Fuel Conference that has been held every year since 2004.  A total of 43 papers will be presented, with 40 spread across five oral presentation sessions and three in a poster session. 

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Sustainable ammonia synthesis: SUNCAT’s lithium-cycling strategy

New research coming out of Stanford University suggests a fascinating new direction for electrochemical ammonia synthesis technology development. The US-Danish team of scientists at SUNCAT, tasked with finding new catalysts for electrochemical ammonia production, saw that 'selectivity' posed a tremendous challenge - in other words, most of the energy used by renewable ammonia production systems went into making hydrogen instead of making ammonia. The new SUNCAT solution does not overcome this selectivity challenge. It doesn't even try. Instead, these researchers have avoided the problem completely.