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Comprehensive Evaluation of NH3 Production and Utilization Options for Clean Energy Applications

The project proposes a comprehensive investigation on the analysis, assessment and optimization of ammonia synthesis processes under renewable energy portfolio, including low-cost hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, ocean, biomass, etc. Furthermore, ammonia production via hydrocarbon decomposition, which will be investigated in the study, is a promising option to utilize fossil fuels in a cleaner and environmentally benign way. Case studies for various locations and applications in communities, cities and provinces to develop and implement clean solutions are performed. The objectives of this project include energy and exergy analyses, environmental impact assessments, thermo-economic analyses and evaluations, optimization studies, experimental investigation, scalability and…

Article

254th ACS Meeting, Energy and Fuels Symposium “The Ammonia Economy” — Synthesis, Utilization & Nitrogen Reduction

In late August, the day before the exciting solar eclipse, the Ammonia Economy symposium was held as part of the Energy and Fuels Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in Washington DC. This marks the third gathering of Ammonia related research since 2015 at the national level ACS conference. This year, in addition to the important focus on chemistries for the utilization of ammonia, the rapidly developing field of homogeneous catalysts and biological processes for nitrogen fixation was included as a major theme.

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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.

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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. KIER's research target for 2019 is significant: to demonstrate an ammonia production rate of 1x10-7 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.

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On the Ground in Germany

Yet another national laboratory is developing technology for renewable ammonia, this time in Germany at the DLR, the German Aerospace Center. At the Institute of Thermodynamic Engineering, the DLR is developing a method for electrochemical ammonia synthesis at ambient conditions.

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Developments in Electrochemical Ammonia Synthesis

Proton Energy Systems, d/b/a Proton OnSite, is a technology and commercialization leader in the field of membrane based electrolysis. The company was founded on the vision of utilizing electrolysis technology for the capture and storage of energy in high value applications. Recently, the concept of storing electrical energy in the form of a carbon neutral liquid fuel, particularly ammonia, has been gaining traction within the research investment community. Proton has been participating in collaborative research with the University of Minnesota to advance the system concept for distributed ammonia production using wind-derived hydrogen (via electrolysis) and subsequent conversion to ammonia using…

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Electro-Synthesis of Ammonia for Grid Scale Energy Storage

Ceramatec Inc., in partnership with its partners, will develop a lower temperature and higher efficiency membrane process to synthesize ammonia for energy storage. Ammonia (NH3) is carbon-free, has a high energy density (>4 kW/l), which enables many hours of energy storage from large renewable power projects in small areas, and can be back converted to electricity using turbines or fuel cells at high efficiency. Ammonia synthesis is currently carried out in very large Haber-Bosch plants, mostly fueled from natural gas. The current large-scale Haber-Bosch (H-B) technology needs to run at constant inputs of energy and reactants. Moreover, ammonia is an…

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Progress in the Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia

Ammonia is one of the most important and widely produced chemicals worldwide with a key role in the growth of human population. Nowadays, the main route for ammonia synthesis is the Haber-Bosch process, developed one century ago. In this process, Fe-based catalysts are usually employed at temperatures between 400 and 500°C and pressures between 130 and 170 bar. As opposed to the industrial process, in nature, plants and bacteria have been producing ammonia for millions of years at mild conditions. Atmospheric nitrogen is reduced by solvated protons on the FeMo cofactor of the metalloenzyme nitrogenase. The natural method of nitrogen…