The project will develop high-performing electrodes for direct electrochemical conversion of atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia – a readily exportable carrier of renewable energy.
How the project works
Monash University has developed a technology for electrosynthesis of ammonia from air nitrogen which holds the world record in efficiency under ambient conditions. The present project will further advance this technology by developing new electrodes that will provide higher ammonia production rate, longer lifetime and maintain high selectivity. These parameters determine the energy and capital costs of the process. The project will demonstrate the ammonia production rates from renewables that support cost-effective implementation of the technology at large scale, which will accelerate progress towards a practical and scalable process.
Area of innovation
Ammonia is widely considered as a highly practical, easily transportable renewable energy carrier. It can be used as a fuel directly in engine or gas-turbines, or can be split into nitrogen gas and hydrogen fuel. The challenge in the global implementation of this strategy is the efficient production of ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen, water and renewables. This project will scale-up and optimise the ammonia synthesis technology developed at Monash University, and will demonstrate the ammonia production rates providing a basis for the design of industrial level prototypes.
The impact of a successful outcome of the project will be to demonstrate a scalable and techno-economically competitive process for the production of ammonia as a hydrogen carrier from renewables. Scaled up, the process has the potential to provide an exportable form of hydrogen energy. The ammonia is produced from the process in liquid form, suitable for transfer by pipeline and bulk carrier, by means of supply chains well established in the ammonia/fertiliser field. The project will thereby demonstrate a practical option for the large-scale export of renewables.
Researchers are developing new ways to export Australia’s renewable energy in the form of hydrogen.
Hydrogen offers a way to produce a renewable, emissions-free fuel using the power of the sun and wind.
In recent weeks, the buzz around the potential for hydrogen to unlock opportunities to export renewable energy to the world has gone from a light murmur to a loud hum.