Tag Archives: NH3 Production Rate Measurement

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

Lauren Greenlee1*, Shelby Foster1, Prashant Acharya1, David Suttmiller1, Charles Loney2, Julie Renner2, Wayne Gellett3, Katherine Ayers3
[1] University of Arkansas; [2] Case Western Reserve University; and [3] Proton OnSite, United States

NH3 Fuel Conference, Minneapolis, November 2, 2017
AIChE Annual Meeting, Topical Conference: NH3 Energy+


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 explore other possible options for ammonia production. One potential option is low temperature electrochemical synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen and water. An electrochemical process that directly synthesizes ammonia molecules from nitrogen gas and the hydrogen atoms of water molecules would eliminate the need for fossil-fuel-based hydrogen as a reactant and decrease CO2 emissions. Further, an electrochemical system based on already-developed technology in the fuel cell and electrolysis arenas would enable a modular, scalable, and energy efficient process that could be connected to renewables (i.e., wind or solar) as the energy input. Continue reading