Site items in: Content by Author Charles Loney

Enhanced Electrochemical Ammonia Production Via Peptide-Bound Metal

Approximately half of the people on the planet are alive because of synthetically produced ammonia. However, due to the fossil fuels used in the current ammonia synthesis process, its production contributes a significant amount to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Haber-Bosch synthesis, which is the most widely used method of producing synthetic ammonia today, requires high temperatures (400-500 °C) and pressures (150-200 atm). This process is also energy intensive, consuming approximately 2% of worldwide energy. By taking an electrochemically-based approach to ammonia synthesis, those harsh conditions and emissions can be eliminated. However, current catalysts are not selective for the desired…

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…

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…