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THE Ammonia Fuel/Energy Storage Thread

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: The Ammonia Economy - An easier alternative to H2?

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 27 Sep 2008, 21:12:24

Thanks a bunch for the link, a fascinating read indeed! If they can get this proven commercially, especially with NatGas being so volitile in price, they will have a clear economic winner both as a store of energy and as a fertilizer supply.
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Re: The Ammonia Economy - An easier alternative to H2?

Unread postby kolm » Sun 28 Sep 2008, 09:35:00

Tanada wrote:Thanks a bunch for the link, a fascinating read indeed! If they can get this proven commercially, especially with NatGas being so volitile in price, they will have a clear economic winner both as a store of energy and as a fertilizer supply.


Much rests on the efficiencies they claim (AFAIK not proven in large scale production), the initial installment costs (dito), and the assumption of cheap nuclear (which might be a problem since power companies usually sell to the highest bidder, and private companies don't have the knowledge base to run a NPP within state regulatory terms). But yes, I find the possibility intriguing as well.
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Re: The Ammonia Economy - An easier alternative to H2?

Unread postby ammonia-guy » Mon 20 Oct 2008, 17:25:15

Tanada and Kolm--

Ammonia fuel is alive and well, and growing in public awareness and acceptance.

The proceedings of the 5th annual Ammonia Fuel conference held Sept 29 - Oct 1 in Minneapolis are posted at http://www.energy.iastate.edu/Renewable ... aMtg08.htm .

The presentation by Sammes et al is a progress update of the solid state ammonia synthesis technology you have mentioned.

See also www.ammoniafuelnetwork.org and www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=799 .

Best regards. A-F
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Re: The Ammonia Economy - An easier alternative to H2?

Unread postby mos6507 » Mon 20 Oct 2008, 19:39:37

Too bad I don't own cats anymore. I could probably drive cross country on what was at the bottom of the old litterbox.
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Re: The Ammonia Economy - An easier alternative to H2?

Unread postby Dezakin » Tue 21 Oct 2008, 03:43:20

Ammonia wont ever be a major fuel substitute. You need H2 to generate it and if you got H2, you can just as easily make liquid hydrocarbon fuels which, as we've observed over the past century, are quite a bit more versitile.

It will continue to play a major role in agriculture however.
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Re: The Ammonia Economy - An easier alternative to H2?

Unread postby ammonia-guy » Thu 30 Oct 2008, 07:57:33

All--

There is a summary of the recent Ammonia Fuel Conference and a number of comments on The Oil Drum at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4696 .

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Pair claim they can make ammonia to fuel cars for just 20 c

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 05 Sep 2011, 18:44:38

Pair claim they can make ammonia to fuel cars for just 20 cents per liter

John Fleming of SilverEagles Energy and Tim Maxwell from Texas Tech University, say they have developed a way to make ammonia that is cheap enough so that it could be used as fuel for cars. If their claims turn out to be true, many consumers might consider switching over because ammonia, when burned in an engine, emits nothing but nitrogen and water vapor out the tailpipe. And if that’s not enough incentive, they claim they can make the ammonia for just 20 cents a liter (approximately 75 cents a gallon).

The secret to their low cost estimates actually lie in their newly developed method for making hydrogen, which they use to make their ammonia. They say that by using a new kind of transformer that Fleming built, they can reduce the number of cells necessary for electrolysis to such a degree that they can produce hydrogen at almost half the cost of traditional electrolysis methods.

To make the ammonia, the hydrogen produced is pumped into a compression chamber where a piston squeezes it, causing it to heat up; in this case to 400C°. The result is then allowed to escape into another compartment where a reaction is set off by an iron oxide catalyst. This makes the hydrogen grow even hotter to the point where it begins creating ammonia. The ammonia and leftover hydrogen is then allowed to cool down and decompress in yet a third compartment, and in so doing causes another piston to move back and forth creating energy that is fed back into the system to help lower electric consumption. Then, the ammonia is chilled to -75C° and pumped into a tank for use.

Cars already on the road can use ammonia as an additive without modification (up to 10%) and flex cars could be, according to Fleming, easily modified to use ammonia in conjunction with ethanol, allowing for a mixture of 85% ammonia.


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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 17 Dec 2012, 12:31:22

If this system works as claimed the cost of ammonia produced without fossil fuel input will be much more competitive.
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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 18 Dec 2012, 10:47:09

Whatever happened to those scientists that were working on the ammonia economy six years ago? It is like they fell off the face of the earth.
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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 23 Jun 2015, 20:37:57

Seems how all the foolishness about Hydrogen and Fuel Cell technology is once again rearing its ugly head I figured it was time to reawaken this thread. Everything you need to know about how bad Hydrogen alone is. Also how easy it is to transform it into shelf stable Ammonia, for which distribution systems already exist. Start at the beginning and read right through, the thread isn't too long.
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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 23 Jun 2015, 20:58:52

Ammonia is made from hydrogen! Hmmm. . . This from wiki:

Ammonia has been proposed as a practical alternative to fossil fuel for internal combustion engines.[40] The calorific value of ammonia is 22.5 MJ/kg (9690 BTU/lb), which is about half that of diesel. In a normal engine, in which the water vapour is not condensed, the calorific value of ammonia will be about 21% less than this figure.

Ammonia cannot be easily or efficiently used in existing Otto cycle engines because of its very low octane rating, although with only minor modifications to carburettors/injectors and a drastic reduction in compression ratio, which would require new pistons, a gasoline engine could be made to work exclusively with ammonia, at a low fraction of its power output before conversion and much higher fuel consumption.


Ammonia vapour has a sharp, irritating, pungent odour that acts as a warning of potentially dangerous exposure. The average odour threshold is 5 ppm, well below any danger or damage. Exposure to very high concentrations of gaseous ammonia can result in lung damage and death.[49] Although ammonia is regulated in the United States as a non-flammable gas, it still meets the definition of a material that is toxic by inhalation and requires a hazardous safety permit when transported in quantities greater than 13,248 L (3,500 gallons)
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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby sparky » Wed 24 Jun 2015, 01:49:43

.
One of the most efficient amonia generator is the pigs , one hundred of them could provide fuel for an airplane ,
thus confirming the old adage that pigs might fly :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 24 Jun 2015, 09:07:19

Graeme wrote:Ammonia is made from hydrogen! Hmmm. . . This from wiki:

Ammonia has been proposed as a practical alternative to fossil fuel for internal combustion engines.[40] The calorific value of ammonia is 22.5 MJ/kg (9690 BTU/lb), which is about half that of diesel. In a normal engine, in which the water vapour is not condensed, the calorific value of ammonia will be about 21% less than this figure.

Ammonia cannot be easily or efficiently used in existing Otto cycle engines because of its very low octane rating, although with only minor modifications to carburettors/injectors and a drastic reduction in compression ratio, which would require new pistons, a gasoline engine could be made to work exclusively with ammonia, at a low fraction of its power output before conversion and much higher fuel consumption.


Ammonia vapour has a sharp, irritating, pungent odour that acts as a warning of potentially dangerous exposure. The average odour threshold is 5 ppm, well below any danger or damage. Exposure to very high concentrations of gaseous ammonia can result in lung damage and death.[49] Although ammonia is regulated in the United States as a non-flammable gas, it still meets the definition of a material that is toxic by inhalation and requires a hazardous safety permit when transported in quantities greater than 13,248 L (3,500 gallons)


NSS! The difference is Hydrogen is very hard to contain and has low energy density even in liquid form. Ammonia is easy to store and has density.storage issues very much like Propane. i.e. it is a gas a standard pressure and temperature but moderate compression causes it to liquify. This makes staring and transporting large volumes a simple engineering problem, especially when compared to Hydrogen.

Best of all with very minor modifications any ICE designed to use Gasoline fuel can be modified to burn Ammonia, which means all the existing engines currently in use world wide can be kept useful until they wear out from long use, and with catalytic convertors the exhaust is water vapor, nitrogen and oxygen with no greenhouse gasses.
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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 24 Jun 2015, 18:38:46

T, Thanks for trying to find an alternative to our transport fuels. Your choice is interesting because ammonia has been used as a fuel in the past and when it's burnt there are no carbon emissions. Ammonia is hence a better choice than say biofuel or LPG/CNG if states have to comply with zero carbon emission rules. Assuming that owners of ICE vehicles cannot afford to buy an EV, do you know how much it would cost to modify ICE engines? Would the fuel be always cheaper than gasoline? Are there any existing retail outlets? Could owners be assured of sufficient supply (that doesn't compete with fertilizer production) until our entire fleet runs on electricity?
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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby ennui2 » Wed 24 Jun 2015, 19:06:22

A quick google search results in this anti-ammonia article.

https://eclipsenow.wordpress.com/2014/0 ... -for-fuel/

In a post-peak world, if there really needs to be a liquid fuel, I can see ammonia generated through renewables being used with legacy ICE vehicles, but it doesn't seem to be an ideal choice right now.
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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Wed 24 Jun 2015, 23:56:42

Graeme wrote:Ammonia is made from hydrogen!
What is hydrogen manufactured from?
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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 25 Jun 2015, 09:03:00

Graeme wrote:T, Thanks for trying to find an alternative to our transport fuels. Your choice is interesting because ammonia has been used as a fuel in the past and when it's burnt there are no carbon emissions. Ammonia is hence a better choice than say biofuel or LPG/CNG if states have to comply with zero carbon emission rules.
Assuming that owners of ICE vehicles cannot afford to buy an EV, do you know how much it would cost to modify ICE engines?

Would the fuel be always cheaper than gasoline?

Are there any existing retail outlets?

Could owners be assured of sufficient supply (that doesn't compete with fertilizer production) until our entire fleet runs on electricity?

Cost of conversion about the same as converting to Propane, the tanks, hoses and software modifications are almost identical.

Cost of fuel will vary widely from place to place, just like Gasoline does in the USA. A great deal depends on what the hydrogen source is (Coal, Methane, Water) and which catalyst method is used to bind it to atmospheric Nitrogen to manufacture the Ammonia.

The only current retailers in the USA are Agricultural distribution nodes where farm workers pick up tanks of Ammonia for use in field fertilizing equipment. There are some precautions needed for handling Ammonia, it is extremely hygroscopic and in vapor form will attack the eyes and mucus membranes if you are exposed. On the other side of the coin Ammonia like Methane is lighter than air so after a few minutes to an hour a significant spill in an open space will rise and dissipate to safe levels. It also has the advantage that it will not burn at standard atmospheric pressure, it will only burn under compression. This means there is no explosion/flash fire hazard from spills.

For your last question there are so many variables in the real world it is impossible to predict. If we use water as the hydrogen source and nitrogen from the air the only limit is how much energy we have available to put into the process. If we go the Coal route as a source of Hydrogen we have to do something with the resulting Coke that sequesters that carbon long term. If we continue to use Methane we should seek ways to effectively sequester that carbon as well.
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Re: Ammonia Fuel for just 20 cents/liter

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 25 Jun 2015, 17:59:20

T, Terrific answer. However, I'm wondering if conversions will ever occur unless there is a war to create gasoline shortage or very high prices (like WW2). In addition, there is ennui2's critique.

As long as natural gas remains abundant, it’s hard to envision this growing beyond a small niche, because the price of ammonia will ultimately be set by the price of natural gas, which remains a cheaper source of hydrogen than electricity from any source, let alone from expensive renewable power sources. Moreover, electricity is fungible, and the best use of renewable or other low-emission power (e.g., nuclear) is probably in backing out power from higher-emitting sources, rather than diverting it into inefficient production of chemicals. As a result green ammonia, like green power, would require subsidies for at least the near-to-medium term if it is to compete with conventional ammonia, which seems like a crucial prerequisite for competing with conventional fuels. And without green ammonia, the whole rationale for an ammonia fuel-and-vehicle network looks questionable–why not just use the gas as CNG or LNG instead, with a fraction of the headaches?
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Ammonia as a Fuel?

Unread postby lpetrich » Thu 05 Jul 2018, 22:44:30

Siemens Tests Ammonia as a Form of Energy Storage for Renewables | Greentech Media
The German industrial giant Siemens is investigating the use of ammonia as a way to store and transport hydrogen in energy systems with high penetration of renewables.

The company this month opened a £1.5 million ($2 million) proof-of-concept plant in Harwell, Oxfordshire, U.K. to test the efficiency of converting electricity to hydrogen, and then to ammonia, and then back.

Ammonia would be made by electrolyzing water and then combining the resulting hydrogen with nitrogen in the Haber-Bosch process. That process has been used for over a century, though the hydrogen for it is usually produced with steam reforming, combining water and methane at high temperatures to make carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The nitrogen for it is extracted from the air, like liquefiying it and boiling off the nitrogen.

Ammonia is much easier to store than hydrogen, having a boiling point of -33 C instead of 20 K (-253 C), and leaks of it much easier to detect, because of its strong smell. Ammonia can be burned, but for fuel cells, it needs to be decomposed, and that requires heating it. So ammonia could be a good alternative to Fischer-Tropsch hydrocarbons.

Renewable-energy production of ammonia has another nice feature: it enables renewable-energy production of nitrogen fertilizers, meaning that we will not have to be dependent on fossil fuels for that.
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Re: Ammonia as a Fuel?

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 08 Jul 2018, 12:26:58

It is nice of them to finally get on board, but we have known it was an idea, and I think a very good idea, for decades. there were people as far back as the 1970's oil crunch doing ammonia conversions to standard ICE engine cars to use Ammonia as an alternate fuel supply.

ammonia-fuel-for-just-20-cents-liter-t67738.html
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