Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Appeared greener and cheaper method of ammonia production

Ammonia is one of the most harmful chemicals for the atmosphere. It is used in fertilizers, dyes, explosives and many other products.

Engineers at the University of Chicago have developed a new, more environmentally friendly and cheaper method of producing ammonia, writes Phys.org.

The process, which has been called lithium ammonia synthesis, combines nitrogen gas and a hydrogen-donating liquid such as ethanol with a charged lithium electrode. Instead of splitting the nitrogen molecule under the influence of high temperature and pressure, nitrogen atoms stick to lithium and then combine with hydrogen to form an ammonia molecule.

The reaction works at low temperatures and is also regenerative, restoring the starting materials at to each cycle of ammonia production.

“The approach based on the use of lithium has been known for a long time. But we have made it efficient and selective enough to achieve cost-effective goals,” – scientists explain.

The new approach can reduce the cost of “green” production of ammonia by 60% – up to $450 per ton, scientists say. The process in the modular reactor can be made even more environmentally friendly by powering it with electricity from solar panels or other renewable sources.

In addition, the new method of producing ammonia can help develop the use of hydrogen as a fuel for cars: ammonia can be safe hydrogen transporter.

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