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Atmospheric-Pressure Synthesis of Ammonia Using Non-Thermal Plasma with the Assistance of Ru-Based Multifunctional Catalyst

Ammonia has much more uses than being a fertilizer. Its emerging applications include hydrogen carrier, fuel cells, clean transportation fuels, and other off-grid power applications. The traditional Haber Bosch process used to synthesize ammonia must be achieved at high temperature and pressure. The non-thermal plasma (NTP) allows for the synthesis of ammonia at a lower temperature and pressure conditions. It is proposed that the moderate process conditions can potentially allow a more economical construction and operation of ammonia production systems on distributed farms and renewable hydrogen production sites. In this study, we report the NTP synthesis of ammonia using dielectric…

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Design Optimization of a Distributed Ammonia Generation System

Distributed ammonia generation located near farms is a promising alternative to the current practice of large-scale, centralized production. This production mode would reduce the need for transportation of ammonia over long distances currently caused by the mismatch between production and consumption locations. In addition, a small-scale ammonia synthesis process could more easily take advantage of distributed power generation based on wind or sunlight to reduce energy costs and lessen the dependence on fossil fuels. Distributed, renewables-based fertilizer production would largely insulate farmers against market uncertainty while also increasing the sustainability of the agricultural supply chain. However, a technically proven, economically…

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Design of Iron-Nickel Nanocatalysts for Low-Temperature Electrochemical Ammonia Generation

The Haber-Bosch industrial process for ammonia production is the cornerstone of modern commercial-fertilizer-based agriculture. Haber-Bosch ammonia fueled the global population growth of the 20th century, and approximately half of the nitrogen in human bodies today originates from ammonia-based fertilizer produced by the Haber-Bosch process. However, the Haber-Bosch process operates at high temperature and high pressure to achieve high conversion efficiencies, and the hydrogen input comes from steam reforming of coal or natural gas. In addition to the energy costs, the large production of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and the large required economies of scale motivate research efforts to…

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Our Iowa Renewable Hydrogen and Ammonia Generation System

The presentation will summarize the development of the demonstration size renewable fuel and fertilizer system on my Iowa farm. Solar power, water, and air are used to make hydrogen and ammonia fuel used to power a modified John Deere 7810 tractor. The ammonia can also be used to fertilize corn cropland. The development of the ammonia reactor will be described and its performance discussed. There are no carbon emissions in either the generation or consumption of the hydrogen and ammonia.

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Lower Pressure Ammonia Synthesis

Ammonia is a very important chemical, mainly produced through the Haber-Bosch process. This process requires high temperature (>400 °C) and pressure (>150 bar) in order to ensure fast kinetics and high conversions, respectively.1 As a result, ammonia synthesis is known to be very complex and energy-intensive.2 To alleviate the complexity and energy requirements of ammonia synthesis, and to reduce the CO2 emissions, we are proposing an innovative reaction-absorption process to synthesize carbon-free ammonia in small plants.3 This green ammonia can be synthesized in wind-powered plants, with hydrogen from electrolysis of water and nitrogen from pressure swing adsorption of air.4 In…

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Future of Ammonia Production: Improvement of Haber-Bosch Process or Electrochemical Synthesis?

Ammonia, the second most produced chemical in the world (176 million tons in 2014), is manufactured at large plants (1,000 – 1,500 t/day) using Haber-Bosch process developed more than hundred years ago. A simple reaction of nitrogen and hydrogen (produced by steam methane reforming or coal gasification) consumes about 2% of world energy, in part due to the use of high pressure and temperature. With the global transition from fossil fuels to intermittent renewable energy sources there is a need for long term storage and long range transmission of energy, for which ammonia is perfect fit. To make it practical,…

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Dutch Initiatives to Store Sustainable Energy in the Form of Ammonia

Proton Ventures BV is a company dedicated to supply mini ammonia units for storing decentralised produced (sustainable) energy. Proton has developed a commercial unit for the production of small amounts of ammonia, which can store up to 25 MW of power or equivalent (bio-) gas energy. Hans Vrijenhoef, as the director of the company, will give an overview of existing plans in The Netherlands to store this decentralised energy and to make use of this in an economic way. The N-Fuel units will be skid-mounted, safe in operation, and almost fully automated in order to keep CAPEX and OPEX costs…

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The Role of “Green” Ammonia in Decarbonising Energy Systems: Practical Demonstration and Economic Considerations

Ammonia has the potential to contribute significantly to the decarbonisation of energy systems, by offering a practical, carbon-free hydrogen storage and transportation vector as well as a green fuel in its own right. To better understand the prospects and challenges surrounding the use of ammonia in energy systems, Siemens is leading a collaborative project to build and test an ammonia-based energy storage system at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK. Together with its project partners (the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, the University of Oxford and the University of Cardiff), and supported by Innovate UK, Siemens will demonstrate…

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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…

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Small Scale Low-Pressure Ammonia Synthesis

Ammonia is one of the most important chemical commodities in the US and will be a key component in helping the world meet the rising demand for food and energy. Ammonia is needed in distributed locations for agriculture (as fertilizer for small grain and corn production), for indirect hydrogen storage1 (transported as a liquid at moderate pressure to hydrogen stations), or as a liquid fuel2 (for internal combustion engines or solid oxide fuel cells). Recently, there has been significant effort to develop scalable technologies for conversion of intermittent energies (e.g., solar, wind) into energy dense carbon-neutral liquid fuels, and ammonia…