As agriculturists and the scientific community strive to find sustainable agricultural chemicals, since the beginning of the 20th century, ammonia has emerged to be sustainable. However, the huge carbon footprint in the production of ammonia is a downside. In a bid for this, researchers have discovered a method to make the production of ammonia 100 percent renewable.
The constituents used are renewable and ambience needed is not complicated, said chemical engineers at the University of Sydney and UNSW Sydney who discovered the method. This involves use of air, water and renewable electricity, and does not require high pressure, high temperatures, and massive infrastructure currently needed to produce ammonia.
Furthermore, based on a proof-of-concept in a laboratory, the new method for the production of ammonia has the potential to play a role as the transition to a hydrogen economy globally in on the cards. This is because ammonia is increasingly being seen as a solution to the problem associated with storing and transportation of hydrogen energy.
Synthetic Production of Ammonia breakthrough, says researchers
In fact, the synthesis of ammonia is one of the critical achievements in the 20th century, says the authors of the paper at University of Sydney and UNSW. The paper is published in Energy and Environmental Science. Coming to the efficacy of ammonia, it quadruples the output of food crops when used in fertilizers, thereby pinning hope for food production for an expanding global population.
However, the first large-scale manufacturing of ammonia in the beginning of the 19th century has been energy intensive. It requires temperatures above 400 °C and pressure above 200atm, wherein all processes are driven by fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, the traditional method for the manufacture of ammonia is cost-effective only when used on a large scale, states the co-author of the paper.