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Green Ammonia: The Answer To A More Sustainable Future

Ammonia saved the world once; it might do it again.A century ago, the world faced a looming food crisis. A booming population was pushing farmers to grow crops faster than nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil could keep up, and the South American deposits of guano and natural nitrates they applied as fertilizer were dwindling.In what may still be the biggest global problem solved by chemistry, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch developed a process to react hydrogen and atmospheric nitrogen under pressure to make ammonia, which farmers adopted in place of natural fertilizers.
Today’s crisis is climate change. This time, ammonia can be produced by hydrogen from water electrolysis and nitrogen separated from the air, the whole process is 100% carbon free. Compared with hydrogen, ammonia is expanding from the most traditional agricultural fertilizer field to the energy field due to its obvious advantages in storage and transportation.As a carrier of zero-carbon fuel and hydrogen energy, ammonia is an important pillar in achieving future green development.

The Threat of Climate Change

Climate change poses a fundamental threat to the places, species and people’s livelihoods. To adequately address this crisis we must urgently reduce carbon pollution and prepare for the consequences of global warming.

Temperature Rise
The Earth is now about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the 1800s. On the current path of carbon dioxide emissions, temperature could increase by as much as 4.4°C by the end of the century.
CO2 Concentration
The concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere is currently at nearly 412 parts per million (ppm) and rising. This represents a 47 percent increase since the beginning of the Industrial Age.
Water Scarcity
Climate change is exacerbating both water scarcity and water-related hazards (such as floods and droughts), as rising temperatures disrupt precipitation patterns and the entire water cycle.
Food Security
Extreme weather is a driver of world hunger.As global temperatures and sea levels rise, the result is more heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones and wildfires. Those conditions make it difficult for farmers to grow food and for the hungry to get it.
Natural Disasters
With increasing global surface temperatures the possibility of more droughts and increased intensity of storms will likely occur.

Achieving Green Energy Transformation

One of the most promising applications of green ammonia is its utilization as a sustainable energy carrier. Ammonia can be produced from the available elemental hydrogen and nitrogen in the air and, if necessary, can be broken down again into its components with the help of an ammonia cracker. This means ammonia can be transported around the world from areas rich in wind and solar resources, where it can be used directly to generate electricity or cracked again into hydrogen for industrial applications.

Ammonia can also be burned directly, for example in gas turbines or ship engines. Due to its versatility, ammonia is an ideal green energy molecule. Ammonia has a higher energy density than hydrogen, which makes it easy to transport and easy to store. This makes green ammonia an ideal liquid energy carrier for transporting renewable energy “green hydrogen” over long distances.

Furthermore, ammonia is already a globally traded product with existing transportation infrastructure, thus offering significant potential for the global green energy economy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.