JV Task-121 Electrochemical Synthesis of Nitrogen Fertilizers

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An electrolytic renewable nitrogen fertilizer process that utilizes wind-generated electricity, N{sub 2} extracted from air, and syngas produced via the gasification of biomass to produce nitrogen fertilizer ammonia was developed at the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center. This novel process provides an important way to directly utilize biosyngas generated mainly via the biomass gasification in place of the high-purity hydrogen which is required for Haber Bosch-based production of the fertilizer for the production of the widely used nitrogen fertilizers. Our preliminary economic projection shows that the economic competitiveness of the electrochemical nitrogen fertilizer process strongly depends ... continued below

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Jiang, Junhua & Aulich, Ted November 30, 2008.

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An electrolytic renewable nitrogen fertilizer process that utilizes wind-generated electricity, N{sub 2} extracted from air, and syngas produced via the gasification of biomass to produce nitrogen fertilizer ammonia was developed at the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center. This novel process provides an important way to directly utilize biosyngas generated mainly via the biomass gasification in place of the high-purity hydrogen which is required for Haber Bosch-based production of the fertilizer for the production of the widely used nitrogen fertilizers. Our preliminary economic projection shows that the economic competitiveness of the electrochemical nitrogen fertilizer process strongly depends upon the cost of hydrogen gas and the cost of electricity. It is therefore expected the cost of nitrogen fertilizer production could be considerably decreased owing to the direct use of cost-effective 'hydrogen-equivalent' biosyngas compared to the high-purity hydrogen. The technical feasibility of the electrolytic process has been proven via studying ammonia production using humidified carbon monoxide as the hydrogen-equivalent vs. the high-purity hydrogen. Process optimization efforts have been focused on the development of catalysts for ammonia formation, electrolytic membrane systems, and membrane-electrode assemblies. The status of the electrochemical ammonia process is characterized by a current efficiency of 43% using humidified carbon monoxide as a feedstock to the anode chamber and a current efficiency of 56% using high-purity hydrogen as the anode gas feedstock. Further optimization of the electrolytic process for higher current efficiency and decreased energy consumption is ongoing at the EERC.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-98FT40321
  • DOI: 10.2172/989408 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 989408
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1013959

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  • November 30, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Dec. 18, 2017, 6:12 p.m.

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Jiang, Junhua & Aulich, Ted. JV Task-121 Electrochemical Synthesis of Nitrogen Fertilizers, report, November 30, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1013959/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.