Low Temperature, Electrochemical Ammonia Synthesis
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
7607 Eastmark Drive, Suite 102, College Station, TX, 77840
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
G. Duncan Hitchens
Abstract72684-Approximately 3% of the world¿s energy consumption goes into ammonia synthesis. By far, the most important method of making ammonia is the Haber-Bosch system, which accounts for over 90% of the world¿s ammonia production. However, this process suffers from low product yield and requires synthesis at high temperatures and pressures. An efficient, low-cost method for ammonia production could significantly reduce energy consumption while reducing the cost of ammonia-based products, including fertilizers and polymers. This project will use ambient temperature molten salts to reduce the operating temperature of a previously developed electrochemical method for the synthesis of ammonia. Phase I tested and evaluated numerous low-temperature molten salts for use in an ambient temperature and pressure system for electrochemical ammonia synthesis. Molten salts that possessed favorable characteristics including stability and conductvity were further tested in an electrochemical ammonia production system. Feasibility of the proposed research was successfully demonstated by synthesis of ammonia in this system. Phase II will fabricate, test, and evaluate the economic viability of a first-generation ammonia production system. The prototype cell design will be based upon a similar technology, molten carbonate fuel cells, which will allow inexpensive and efficient scale-up of the system. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The technology should decrease ammonia production costs by a factor of ten, from $56 per ton to $6 per ton. In the United States, 19.196 million tons of ammonia are produced annually; therefore, a savings of $960 million per year could be realized.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.