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A 100% Solution to Climate Change: Why is Ammonia Necessary?

It’s easy for people working on a particular technology or product to get overly focused on its wonderful promise. Sometimes we forget to consider whether or how our favorite idea fits into the larger issue. Of course, nearly everyone reading this piece in Ammonia Energy will be heartily into the idea of green ammonia as an energy carrier in a zero-emissions world. But let’s keep things in context – is green ammonia one good idea, one possibility, or is it an absolute requirement of a full solution to climate change? I looked at this question, not only for ammonia but for every category of technology, in the research and analysis project that became The 100% Solution, a recently-published book. It lays out five “pillars” that constitute the physical minimum steps needed to solve climate change.

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NH3 / N2 / O2 Non-Premixed Flame in a 10 kW Experimental Furnace – Characteristics of Radiative Heat Transfer

There are severe issues on increasing amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission in the world. Many studies are devoted on alternative fuels. One of superior candidates is the utilization of hydrogen energy which can realize a low-carbon and hydrogen-based society. Ammonia might play an important role which is zero emission of CO2, and is useful for hydrogen energy carrier as a clean energy. Additionally, ammonia is an easily-liquefiable fuel with pressure of about 0.86 MPa and temperature of 293 K. Commercially, ammonia is produced in large quantity by the Haber–Bosch process. It is also to be produced by using catalyst…

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Delivering Clean Hydrogen Fuel from Ammonia Using Metal Membranes

The use of ammonia (NH3) as a hydrogen vector can potentially enable renewable energy export from Australia to markets in Asia and Europe. With a higher hydrogen density than liquid H2, plus existing production and transport infrastructure, and well-developed safety practices and standards, the financial and regulatory barriers to this industry are lower than for liquid H2 transport. The only significant technical barrier which remains, however, is the efficient utilisation of ammonia fuel at or near the point of use, either directly or through the production of H2. For H2 production from NH3, the purity of the product H2 is…

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Nitrogen-Based Fuels: Renewable Hydrogen Carriers

Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind suffer from an intermittent power output, making energy storage a key element in future energy infrastructure. Fuels offer both high energy densities and efficient transport compared to other energy storage alternatives. One energy storage solution is water electrolysis. However, the generated hydrogen is incompatible with the global fuel infrastructure, inhibiting its implementation as an energy vector. Storing hydrogen on carrier atoms provides a safe and convenient way to utilize and transport renewable energies. While carbon–based fuels are commonly suggested, using nitrogen as a hydrogen carrier can potentially offer a superior option. In…

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NH3: The Optimal Alternative Fuel

Unlike some technology areas where “all of the above” has significant advantages, there are tremendous advantages associated with choosing a single, optimized, liquid transportation fuel. The cost, efficiency and environmental benefits associated with choosing an optimized liquid transportation fuel are enormous and merit serious consideration. NH3 most closely meets the criteria for an ideal liquid transportation fuel. It is the most efficient and cost-effective means of delivering hydrogen and has an extensive world-wide delivery system already in place. Using currently available catalytic controls, NH3 emissions can be even cleaner than hydrogen engine emissions. While NH3 can effectively be produced using…

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Ammonia Renewable Energy Fuel Systems at Continental Scale

We must soon “run the world on renewables” but cannot, and should not try to, accomplish this entirely with electricity transmission. New, abundant, low-cost, unconventional natural gas supplies are finite; burning adds CO2 to Earth’s atmosphere. Humanity’s goal must be nothing less than: Transforming the world’s largest industry from ~80% fossil to ~100% renewable, CO2-emission-free energy sources as quickly as we prudently and profitably can. We should now carefully consider using pipeline networks, rather than the electricity grid, for solving the three salient technical problems of renewable energy (RE) at lower cost: Transmission: from diverse, stranded, remote, rich RE resources…

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Japan – a future market for Australian solar ammonia

Japan and Australia are intimately linked in energy trade. Australia counts energy exports as a major source of foreign exchange income and Japan, which uses nearly 4 times the primary energy as Australia, imports nearly all of it. Approximately 40% of Australia’s coal exports are bought by Japan and were worth $AUD15.4 billion in 2012-13. Over 70% of Australia’s LNG exports went to Japan in the same period and earned over $AUD12billion. Future energy supply is high on the agenda for Japan. Currently 43% of its primary energy is in the form of imported oil mostly from the Middle East.…

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Research and Development of Ammonia-fueled SOFC Systems

Ammonia is a promising hydrogen carrier because of its high hydrogen density, low production cost, and ease in liquefaction and transport. Ammonia decomposes into nitrogen and hydrogen through a mildly endothermic process. The ammonia decomposition temperature is close to the operating conditions of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Therefore, the integration of these two devices is beneficial in terms of efficient heat and energy managements and will lead to the development of simplified generation systems. We have investigated three types of ammonia-fueled SOFC systems. In one system, ammonia is directly supplied to the anode chamber. Ammonia decomposes into nitrogen and…

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Cracking ammonia

In this talk, I will discuss our latest research in developing novel ammonia cracking catalysts. While ammonia can be used directly as a fuel in high temperature fuel cells, internal combustion engines and gas turbine, the ability to crack ammonia affordably and effectively increases the range of possibilities for utilising ammonia as an energy vector. For example, the production of an ammonia-free hydrogen/nitrogen gas mixture permits the consideration of ammonia as an on-board hydrogen storage option for transportation. Furthermore, the ability to partly crack ammonia provides an increased flexibility for internal combustion engines. I will outline developments in our search…