Ammonia Production for Fertilizers at Ambient Pressure and Low Temperature Topic 8.13-3

Period of Performance: 09/16/2016 - 12/31/2016

$600K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Giner, Inc.
89 Rumford Avenue Array
Newton, MA 02466
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Ammonia (NH3) is an extremely important feedstock for producing nitrogen fertilizers, such as anhydrous ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) and urea (CO(NH2)2), that provide essential nutrition for crop vitality. The worldwide production of ammonia is more than 100 million tons per year. The conventional Haber-Bosch ammonia production process requires high pressure and temperature (up to 300 atm and 500°C) and is, as such, extremely energy-intensive.The proposed Phase II project aims to further scale up the electrochemical synthesis of ammonia at lower temperature and pressure, and integrate this technology with off-peak renewable energy towards building distributed ammonia plants. The reactants are nitrogen and water that are immediately available and abundant. High-performance electrocatalysts and hybrid anion exchange membrane will be used to further enhance the ammonia production rate and process stability. These efforts may help transform the electrochemical production of ammonia to a more practical level.The successful application of this technology will lead to ammonia synthesis via a more environmentally-benign and economically viable approach, compared to the conventional Haber-Bosch process. The synthesized ammonia using renewable energy can be widely used as a feedstock for fertilizers in agriculture. The ammonia can also be considered as a means of storing surplus renewable energy during off-peak hours.