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High Efficiency Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia from Nitrogen at Ambient Temperature and Pressure

Ammonia as well as being an important fertiliser is being increasingly considered as an easily transported carrier of hydrogen energy. However, the traditional Haber-Bosch process for the production of ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen and fossil fuels is a high temperature and pressure process that is energy intensive. Newer technology is being investigated to produce sustainable ammonia from green energy. An ambient temperature, electrochemical synthesis of ammonia is an attractive alternative approach, but has, to date, not been achieved at high efficiency. Researchers from Monash University have obtained faradaic efficiency as high as 60% using liquid salt electrolytes under ambient conditions,…

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Coupling Integral Molten Salt Reactor Technology into Hybrid Nuclear: Direct Ammonia Production via H2 High Temperature Steam Electrolysis

Demands for safe, secure supplies of potable water across the planet are increasing faster than can be provided by natural, ever-depleting sources of fresh water. At the same time, world demand for electric power is also accelerating. Making H2 from Natural Gas is not an optimal or very efficient process that is also un-economic at higher and erratic gas costs. An Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) is uniquely suited to provide the very high temperatures (600 °C+ working temps) that are needed to generate both significant amounts of High Temperature Steam Electrolysis (HTSE)-derived Hydrogen & Oxygen (a feed for industrial…

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Solid Oxide Cell Enabled Ammonia Synthesis and Ammonia Based Power Production

Haldor Topsøe’s leading role as supplier of ammonia synthesis catalysts and technology is well known. The company has, however, also been active for decades in developing Solid Oxide Cell based stacks and systems. The presentation will describe a novel, highly integrated process for ammonia synthesis based on Solid Oxide Electrolysis. The energy efficiency is very high due to ability of the SOEC to use steam generated from the synthesis reaction heat in the ammonia synthesis loop and the favorable thermodynamics of high temperature electrolysis. Experimental results from hydrogen generation from steam using SOEC and power production from ammonia using Solid…

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Process Synthesis and Global Optimization of Novel Ammonia Production Processes

Synthetic ammonia production has played a huge role in sustaining population growth by providing the nitrogen in fertilizers that are widely used in modern agriculture. Even long after it was first commercially developed by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch in the 1930s, the Haber-Bosch process remains the basis for industrial ammonia production today. Through reducing energy requirements by half in the last 50 years, centralized industrial plants have kept their technical and economic advantage over other modes of operation. However, the centralized production also comes with high transportation costs, since plant capacities usually exceed local ammonia consumption [1]. This and…

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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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Exploring Peptide-Bound Catalysts for Electrochemical Ammonia Generation

Today, most ammonia (NH3) manufacturing occurs via the Haber-Bosch process. This process consumes hydrogen from fossil fuels, and as a result NH3 contributes the highest amount of greenhouse gas emissions out of the top 18 large-volume chemicals made globally. Because the process is high temperature (400°–500°C) and pressure (150–300 atm) with a low (15%) single-pass conversion efficiency, the plants have to be very large to be economical. This means that ammonia is shipped from centralized locations, further increasing greenhouse gas emissions because of the fuel consumed in transportation. Additionally, their large size makes it difficult to integrate with renewable sources…

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Load Range Enhancement of Haber-Bosch Process Designs for NH3 Sustainable Energy Storage By Multi-Parametric Optimization

With the world’s major shift towards renewable energy, the need of chemicals-based energy storage has drastically increased, as renewable energy is intermittent and energy storage medium is required. Among several chemical energy storage options, ammonia is promising for renewable energy on utility-scale. The Haber-Bosch ammonia synthesis was the first heterogeneous catalytic system employed in the chemical industry and developed over a period of century. However, the conventional ammonia process has been designed and optimized for steady state operation and high capacity. Power-to-ammonia requires a more flexible operation, small size reactors and decentralized production. The impact of adjustable parameters, such as,…

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Dense Metallic Membrane Reactor Synthesis of Ammonia at Moderate Conditions and Low Cost

Commercial ammonia synthesis relies on the Haber–Bosch process that has remained largely unchanged for a hundred years. The equilibrium constant of this exothermic reaction quickly becomes unfavorable above 200 °C, but the catalyst requires temperatures above 400 °C to have sufficient activity. To overcome these conflicting requirements the process is conducted at extremely high pressure (100 – 200 atm) using multiple passes with inter-stage cooling to achieve sufficient conversion. A cost analysis reveals the compressors needed to reach the required pressures consist of 50% the capital cost for Haber-Bosch. Therefore, a longstanding scientific challenge has been to achieve NH3 synthesis…

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LiH Mediated Ammonia Synthesis Under Mild Condition

Having a hydrogen content of 17.6 wt% NH3 is an attractive hydrogen carrier. The key issue for NH3 synthesis and decomposition is the development of non-noble metal based, highly active and stable catalysts that can be operated under mild condition. With the understanding on the interaction of LiH and Li2NH with 3d metals or their nitrides, novel catalyst systems, i. e., LiH-3d transition metals for NH3 synthesis and Li2NH-3d transition metal for NH3 decomposition, that have activities surpassing the highly active Ru-based catalysts were developed. The unique chemistry among TM, Li, N and H creates a two-reactive center mediated pathway…