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Comparative Technoeconomic Analysis of Conventional and Absorbent-Enhanced Ammonia Synthesis

Ammonia is the second-most produced synthetic chemical and the main precursor for nitrogen-based fertilizer. In 2015, 160 million tons were produced globally, and global demand is expected to grow 1.5% annually until 2050 [1]. However, traditional ammonia production uses natural gas or coal as its hydrogen source, and as a result, is also responsible for more than 1% of global GHG emissions and 5% of global natural gas consumption [2]. Clearly, a more sustainable ammonia production scheme is needed. One such alternative is obtain hydrogen from electrolysis powered by wind- or solar-derived electricity. It has been proposed to perform this…

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Ammonia Absorption and Desorption in Ammines

While adsorption onto solids is a common separation process, absorption into solids is much less often used. The reason is that absorption is usually assumed ineffective because it includes very slow solute diffusion into the solid. An exception may be the separation of ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen using ammines, especially at temperatures close to those used in ammonia synthesis. There, ammonia can be selectively absorbed by calcium chloride; nitrogen and hydrogen are not absorbed. The kinetics of ammonia release seem to be diffusion controlled. The kinetics of absorption are consistent with a first order reaction and diffusion in series,…

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Advances in Making High Purity Nitrogen for Small Scale Ammonia Generation

The presentation will address recent developments in the Solar Hydrogen Demonstration Project in which hydrogen, nitrogen and ammonia are made from solar power, water, and air; and used to fuel a modified John Deere farm tractor. In industrial applications very pure nitrogen is made by cryogenic distillation of air. Using Pressure Swing Absorption systems alone it is extremely difficult to achieve the required purity. An improved method was developed for making high purity nitrogen, for smaller systems. Will discuss how, when Oxygen contaminates the reactor catalyst, Hydrogen is used to purge the catalyst, and subsequently used as fuel.

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Demonstration of CO2-Free Ammonia Synthesis Using Renewable Energy-Generated Hydrogen

In Japan, the government funding project SIP, Strategic Innovation Promotion Program, supports the research, development and demonstration of “Energy Carriers”. The concept of the “Energy Carriers” value chain is to produce hydrogen energy carriers overseas from fossil resources using CCS or renewable energy, and transport it to Japan for utilization as clean energy. The purpose of the program is to help realize a low-carbon society in Japan by using hydrogen. Among energy carriers, ammonia is the one of the most promising carriers, because of the ease of transportation as a liquid, higher hydrogen density, and proven technologies for commercial and…

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Design Optimization of an Ammonia-Based Distributed Sustainable Agricultural Energy System

Small-scale, distributed production of ammonia better enables the use of renewable energy for its synthesis than the current paradigm of large-scale, centralized production. Pursuant to this idea, a small-scale Haber-Bosch process has been installed at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) in Morris, MN [1] and there is ongoing work on an absorbent-enhanced process at the University of Minnesota [2], [3]. Using renewables to make ammonia would greatly improve the sustainability of fertilizer production, which currently accounts for 1% of total global energy consumption [4]. The promise of renewable-powered, distributed ammonia production for sustainability is in fact not…

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Rapid Ramp NH3 Prototype Reactor Update

Starfire Energy has built and operated a low pressure, fast-ramping prototype reactor using its Rapid Ramp NH3 process. It has synthesized, captured, and liquefied NH3 with all system pressures staying below 12.5 bar. The prototype reactor’s performance will be discussed.

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Realisation of Large-Scale Green Ammonia Plants

The global ammonia production is nowadays mostly based on fossil energy carriers (natural gas, coal, naphtha, etc.). It consumes approximately 1.4% fossil energy carriers and releases more than 1.4% of global CO2 emissions. In order to continue the global transition from the fossil fuel and nuclear energy age to the renewable energy age, ammonia could play a key role. Beside the continued utilization for fertilizer industry, ammonia could become an energy and/or hydrogen carrier as well. thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (tkIS) developed a concept to establish Green Ammonia Plants as an alternative to conventional world-scale ammonia plants. As industry leader in…

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Roadmap to All Electric Ammonia Plants

Haldor Topsøe A/S is a world leading supplier of technology and catalyst for the ammonia industry. It is also a developer of Solid Oxide Electrolyzer technology. A road map towards all electrical ammonia plants of the future has been worked out implementing at first steps hybrid natural gas based/classical electrolyzer technology and ultimately SOEC based plants without air separation units.