An Innovative, Economical Process for the Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia

Period of Performance: 01/01/2002 - 12/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lynntech, Inc.
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


PHASE II TECHNICAL OBJECTIVES The Phase I study demonstrated that ammonia gas can be venerated at high current efficiencies by the reduction of nitrogen gas to nitride ion (N) at a nickel cathode and that these ions can be oxidized, in the presence of atomic hydrogen, to form ammonia. The results also demonstrated that this method for ammonia production has the potential to reduce production costs thus significantly lowering the cost of fertilizer (80 percent of the ammonia produced is converted to fertilizer) reducing the financial burden on the agricultural community. During the Phase I effort Lynntech's researchers overcame not only the difficulties associated with the chemistry but also many of the difficulties associated with the engineering. Many of the cell components were engineered using new techniques developed in house by Lynntech's technical staff. The goal of the Phase II effort is to use the technical know-how gained in the Phase I to build and test a prototype ammonia generator capable of producing 1 kg of ammonia per day. Lynntech is recognized as a leader in innovative electrochemical cell design and manufacture. The prototype developed during the Phase II research effort will be used as a commercialization tool to promote the technology to commercial partners. The specific objectives of the Phase H effort will be to: 1.Design the electrochemical reactor and corresponding sub-systems. This Task will be used to evaluate cell design for optimum gas flow for reactants and product separation, thermal properties, and general ease of use. During this Task, materials for the cell construction will be evaluated 2.Electrochemical ammonia cell fabrication. Based on the information from Task 1 the cell frames, end plates, and electrodes will be machined and assembled into one unit. 3.Testing the prototype system. The aim of this Task is to establish the optimum operational parameters. 4.Build the final prototype system. Based on the information the final prototype demonstration unit will be assembled. 5.Economic evaluation and final documentation. During this Task, Lynntech will assemble all documentation regarding the operation and maintenance of the electrochemical ammonia generator. 6.Deliver Final Technical Report.