New eco-friendly method for producing ammonia
Researchers from The University of Notre Dame are focusing on developing a new method that synthesizes ammonia using renewable energy. The newly developed method aims to be more eco-friendly and accessible.
The current process used to create ammonia is the Haber-Bosch process, which was developed in the early 90s. The Harber-Bosch relies on non-renewable sources and fossil fuels to operate and can only be used in large, centralized chemical plants, making it harmful to the environment.
Their new process uses plasma and non-noble metal catalysts to create milder conditions than the Haber-Bosch method. Plasma’s energy excites nitrogen molecules, which then reacts more readily on the catalysts. The energy for the reaction comes from the plasma, not high heat and intense pressure, so the creation of ammonia with this method can happen on the small-scale, which has not happened before. The new process can be used with renewable energy sources and distributed ammonia production, as published in Nature Catalysis