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Ammonia is synthesised from hydrogen and nitrogen via one of a variety of methods.

Technology

What is it?

Ammonia is synthesised from hydrogen and nitrogen via one of a variety of methods. Ammonia can then be transported, and the hydrogen extracted again at the point of use via a thermal decomposition and separation process.

Why is it important?

Ammonia can be transported under mild conditions and be utilised directly or converted back into hydrogen for use.

Characteristics

  • Volumetric hydrogen density: High (10.7kg H2 / m3 at 10 bar and 25°C)
  • Gravimetric hydrogen density: High (17.8% by mass)
  • Storage conditions: Liquid at ambient temperature, 10-11 bar pressure
  • Energy efficiency: Varies depending on synthesis approach. See Haber-Bosch synthesis method for conventional synthesis

Benefits

  • Cracking leads to formation of nitrogen gas, which is innocuous and can be released back into the atmosphere
  • Can be stored at mild temperature and pressure for transport
  • Can leverage existing ammonia handling and transport infrastructure
  • High Gravimetric hydrogen density: 17.8% by mass
  • High Volumetric hydrogen density -10.7kg H2 / 100L at 10 bar and 25°C

Limitations

  • Requires cracking at point of use to extract hydrogen
  • See limitations for each synthesis method
  • High toxicity of ammonia vapours
  • Note: Various ammonia technologies in development cover the whole TRL scale

RD&D priorities

  • Develop higher efficiency and lower cost synthesis methods

Known active organisations

  • The Australian National University
  • CSIRO
  • Monash University
  • The University of Adelaide
  • The University of Newcastle
  • The University of Sydney
  • The University of Technology Sydney
  • The University of Western Australia

Other opportunities like this

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