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US News climate: Green ammonia - new method can be two per cent of global greenhouse gases abolish

16:45  30 november  2021
16:45  30 november  2021 Source:   stern.de

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ammonia is used among others for the fertilizer production. Its production pollutes the atmosphere dramatically. Almost by accident, Australian researchers have now discovered an environmentally friendly method.

Herkömmliche Produktionsanlage von Ammoniak in  Russland. © Picture Alliance / Alexander Ryumin Conventional production plant of ammonia in Russia.

ammonia is one of the most widely used chemicals in the world. It is used for fertilizer, but also for the production of plastics and pharmaceuticals. But in the production is a lot of CO2 released. Ammonia is to be responsible for about two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

ammonia without greenhouse gases

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In one study, scientists describe the Australian Monash University how to make green hydrogen one way and the previous Haber process may peel off. Today, methane gas is used to produce ammonia. From the methane gas, hydrogen is first obtained, from which in turn arises ammonia. In addition to the CO2 emissions of the process large amounts of nitrous oxide fall into the atmosphere. Currently, the production leads every ton of ammonia emission of about 1.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Researchers at Monash University have found a method to produce ammonia without natural gas "at room temperature, with high, practical rate and efficiency." They were actually working on another project, rather incidentally, it was investigated whether ammonia using can be made of ionic liquids in an electrolytic process. They were even surprising that the procedure worked.

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"That was more of a 'Are you sure? I think you have to do that again," says Professor Doug MacFarlane. "It took a long time until we really believe. I do not know if we had a proper celebration." is obtained with the hydrogen by electrolysis

production in small cells possible

The process is similar, only electrolytes are used which are known from lithium batteries. "In our study, we found that a phosphonium can be used as a proton shuttle," Dr. Suryanto from the team. "The phosphonium circulates," adds Dr. Alexandr Simonov. "There's protons at the cathode, and is padded at the anode with fresh protons, creating a continuous process arises, we can play up to four days running." The ammonia is released at the cathode surface and then collected.

The procedure itself is completely clean, but it needs electricity. Will it run on renewable energy, you get carbon neutral green ammonia. So system of small systems is to be scalable to the factories. A cell can only the size of a "thick iPads" have so MacFarlane. Combined with a solar panel could continuously produce a small amount of ammonia to operate a commercial greenhouse or a hydroponic system. Because of its high energy density ammonia could also for driving motors in vehicles, ships and aircraft are used. Then it would be conceivable that farms could produce their own fuel to the cells and correspondingly large solar cells. However

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still has to prove the method is that it can work long term, and is commercially available. By the slenderness of the process that does not require hydrogen electrolysis, it will probably be more energy efficient than other methods.

Source: Science

Learn more:

Renewable Energy: Green hydrogen - like the policy a future technology verpennt

fuel cell: hydrogen - the dream of clean energy

Energy Technology: Study: "Blue Hydrogen" climate-damaging than coal or gas

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