JUL 17, 2018 12:31 PM PDT

Ammonia the Next Renewable Fuel?

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

The most obvious drawback of renewable energy such as solar and wind energy is that their production lacks continuity. A solution is to convert the electricity generated from solar panel or wind turbine into organic fuel molecules such as methane and carbon monoxide, which can be stored and freely transported to sites of consumption. 

But carbon-based fuels are eventually turned into carbon dioxide after use. That's why scientists have been searching for alternatives that do not compromise in greenhouse gas release. Ammonia has emerged as a potential candidate that can fulfill the role.

Ammonia is not carbon-based; its combustion with oxygen result in nitrogen gas and water, a large amount of energy; and studies have proven that it can be produced in a gentle and environmentally cautious way, which is in a solar-powered fuel cell using only water and air as raw materials. In the reported design, hydrogen cations produced from water electrolysis react with nitrogen molecules extracted from air. The reaction is slow but efficient, requiring atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature.

Souce: Science Magazine via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
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