New vs old methods
"new methods to produce ammonia by using just water, nitrogen from the air, and clean electricity"
The old method - collecting ammonia released from manure slurry - might be cheaper?
Fujitsu has signed an agreement with Atmonia to deliver HPC and AI technology for the development of catalysts to drive the clean production of ammonia, which is being touted as an alternative to fossil fuels. Atmonia is an Icelandic startup that is aiming to develop a sustainable process for ammonia production. The agreement …
Even with better catalysts, making Ammonia will need lots of energy, but at least Iceland has plentiful, cheap "green" energy from all the geothermal plants so at least it will not be using fossil fuels making it.
Don't fancy idea of a car using it if combustion not 100% complete as its not nice if inhaled / ingested - a classic hazardous chemical in lab work, lots of rules & regs over its storage & use in most countries with a clue about health & safety..
.. but then again, other alternatives like Hydrogen have their own issues & so do currently used "petrol" / "diesel"
Initial use case is shipping. The main shipping lines providing most of the funding globally.
If it can be seen to work in shipping then maybe planes + trains and at a big push lorries.
Australia with its abundant solar power and Japan are working together on it too. Their main use case is its ease of storage compared to Hydrogen for use in longer term energy storage to replace LNG for power stations.
Its very toxic but is one of the best understood and widely used chemicals so mitigations in professional environments are possible.
In theory burning ammonia is nice and clean
4 NH₃ + 3 O₂→ 2 N₂ + 6 H₂O @ 316.8 kJ/mol (for context: methane gets 891 kJ/mol and hydrogen 286 kJ/mol)
But in the real world it also produces an exciting mixture of nitrogen oxides. Now those could be scrubbed but that's expensive so what do you think would happen boys and girls?
Ever so useful for fertilizer so any improvement on the Haber–Bosch process is to be welcomed.
The nitrogen fixing reaction is going to be same no matter the process. Atmona's angle is a novel catalyst which might be biological since it talks about 'nitrates in aqueous solution' but they're tight lipped about it giving them a somewhat "Theranos-y" feel. The HPC angle is that its the tool used to design catalysts so its possible that they've got an entirely new approach that has wide application outside this area or they're still working on Mark One. I wait with interest...