Carbon-free fuel, which can be stored or transported for later use, came a step closer as Siemens prepares to launch its Green Ammonia Energy Storage Demonstrator, in Oxfordshire, UK.
The pilot project, developed by Siemens in conjunction with the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the University of Oxford and Cardiff University, has developed the world’s first demonstrator to show the complete cycle of renewable power, storage as ammonia, and conversion back to electricity.
Ammonia is already produced in vast quantities, mostly for agricultural fertilisers. Today’s ammonia plants use natural gas or other fossil feedstocks both to provide the energy required to power the synthesis process, and as a source of hydrogen (H2). As a result, ammonia production by these methods releases large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2).
The Siemens demonstrator uses water electrolysis to provide a H2 supply, and extracts nitrogen (N2) from the air. The system is designed to use renewable energy to do this, and to combine the two elements in an established Haber-Bosch process to make ammonia. Ammonia produced in this way can be a completely carbon-free and practical bulk energy source.
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