Site items in: Improved Haber-Bosch

Decarbonizing existing, SMR-based ammonia plants: workshop recap

Decarbonization of existing steam methane reforming-based ammonia plants is possible, and changes in gas and heat flows can be recovered via alternative technologies. Recap our workshop in Atlanta, where we discussed the use of upstream methane monitoring equipment, electrolysers, carbon capture, hydrogen burners, energy storage and electric heating to achieve decarbonization of conventional ammonia plants.

Electric Heating Solutions for SMR-Based Ammonia Plants

This presentation underscores the well-established and advantageous role of electric heaters in transforming heating processes within ammonia production, with insightful parallels drawn to the broader trend of electrification in various industries. Electric heaters have emerged as a tried-and-true alternative, and this session will delve into their numerous benefits, making a compelling case for their adoption. As industries worldwide are increasingly electrifying their heating processes to combat emissions, we will explore the technical and operational advantages of electric heaters, specifically within the context of ammonia production, utilizing the Haber-Bosch method. With a focus on reducing emissions, enhancing efficiency, and reducing maintenance…

Demonstrating CCS-based ammonia technologies in Japan

Our June episode of Ammonia Project Features focused on a new project in Niigata prefecture, which will demonstrate low-carbon, fossil-based ammonia production with a capacity of 500 tonnes per year. As part of the project, Japanese government organization JOGMEC will work with INPEX to develop enhanced gas recovery & CO2 sequestration monitoring technologies. Tsubame BHB will deploy its low-temperature, low-pressure ammonia synthesis technology based on an electride-supported catalyst developed at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Alternative synthesis start-ups: exploring the growing ecosystem in Australia and New Zealand

A fast-growing ecosystem of startups is progressing various technology pathways in Australia and New Zealand. Melbourne-based Jupiter Ionics is developing an electrolytic cell that will directly reduce nitrogen to ammonia under mild temperature and pressure conditions. In New Zealand, Liquium is embarking on a pilot-scale deployment of its miniaturised Haber Bosch technology. The University of Newcastle and Element One are progressing validation and pilot-phase deployments of AMMONIAC - a novel, “chemical-looping” ammonia production system. And in Sydney, PlasmaLeap is developing a plasma-based system, with on-farm trials already planned.

Flexible ammonia synthesis: shifting the narrative around hydrogen storage

Flexible ammonia production technology is currently scaling up to meet the challenges of fluctuating electricity feedstock. The ability to ramp down plants to 5 - 10% of their nominal load will minimize the requirement for hydrogen storage buffers and reduce the overall cost of renewable ammonia production. The first demonstration-sized flexible ammonia plants are due to begin operations later this year.

3rd generation ammonia synthesis: new catalysts & production pathways

We look at four new developments this week:

1. A team from DTU Energy and the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics have uncovered a new class of alternative catalysts for mild condition ammonia synthesis. The ternary ruthenium complex hydrides Li4RuH6 and Ba2RuH6 avoid the energy-intensive pathway of nitrogen dissociation in a "synergistic" manner.

2. A team from the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials reported a highly selective (95%) plasma ammonia synthesis method.

3. A team from Delft University of Technology has presented an present an "unconventional electrochemical design" that physically separates hydrogen and dinitrogen activation sites.

4. A team at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research has demonstrated a new mechanochemical ammonia synthesis system that operates at room temperature and pressures as low as 1 bar.

Optimizing absorption to improve Haber-Bosch synthesis

Ammonia absorber columns offer an alternative separation unit to replace condensation in the Haber-Bosch synthesis loop. Metal halide salts can selectively separate ammonia from the reactor outlet gas mixture and incorporate it into their crystal lattice with remarkably high thermodynamic capacity. While the salts’ working capacity can be limited and unstable when they are in their pure form, the capacity is stable and can be high when using a porous silica support. Here, we discuss optimal conditions for uptake and release of ammonia. The production capacity (ammonia processed per unit absorbent and per unit production time) depends on processing parameters…

Dynamic Analysis of Flex-gNH3 – a Green Ammonia Synthesis Process

The future of a decarbonised ammonia production is seen as the alignment of the intermittent production of renewable energy, energy demands and ammonia process features. The current Haber-Bosch ammonia synthesis process can indeed be altered to enable green and sustainable ammonia production primarily being driven by renewable electricity. However, this will require to enhance current commercial Haber-Bosch (H-B) process flexibility with modifications to redefine the conventional H–B process with a new optimised control. The technical feasibility of green-ammonia (gNH3) process had been widely discussed and analysed focusing on its energy efficiency, the development of small-scale, distributed, modularised processes that can…