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A simple, one-pot chemistry to produce ammonia from air and water without emitting carbon dioxideTechnology #014-025-licht
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(NH3), primarily used in production of fertilizers, is one of the most commonly
synthesized chemicals. The traditional
Haber-Bosch process for manufacturing NH3 is energy-intensive and
because it uses natural gas as the source of hydrogen, consumes 3-5% of the world’s
natural gas production and emits 200 million tons of CO2 annually.
GW researchers discovered an entirely novel electro-chemical pathway in which NH3 is produced from air and steam without emission of CO2. This process incorporates molten hydroxide, nickel electrodes and nano-iron (III) oxide catalyst in an energy- and cost-efficient one-pot chemical reaction at low energy. (See Figure)
If adopted, this invention has the potential to significantly contribute to energy conservation and reduced CO2 emission on a global level. In addition, the invention is an endothermic reaction that occurs at elevated temperature, therefore, solar-thermal energy may be used to decrease the energy needed to drive the electro-chemical synthesis reaction.
The researchers were able to demonstrate an efficient production of NH3 (>30% yield) in a laboratory setting.
- Production of Ammonia
- Eliminate the need for natural gas as a starting material.
- Reduce or eliminate CO2 emissions.
- Reduce energy and cost associated with ammonia synthesis.
- Potential use of solar thermal energy to drive the reaction.