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Novel Technique Seamlessly Converts Ammonia to ‘Green’ Hydrogen

Novel Technique Seamlessly Converts Ammonia to ‘Green’ Hydrogen

A recent study has announced a breakthrough in technology that efficiently converts liquid ammonia into hydrogen

A research team, led by professor Guntae Kim in the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has announced a breakthrough in technology that efficiently converts liquid ammonia into hydrogen. Their findings have also attracted significant attention from academic research communities owing to its new analysis protocol, capable of finding optimal process environments.

In this study, the research team succeeded in producing green hydrogen (H2) in large quantities with a purity of nearly 100 percent by decomposing liquid ammonia (NH3) into electricity. Additionally, according to the research team, this method consumed three times less power than when hydrogen is produced using electrolysis of water.

Ammonia has emerged as an attractive potential hydrogen carrier due to its extremely high energy density, and ease of storage and handling. Moreover, the electrolysis of ammonia to produce nitrogen and hydrogen only requires an external voltage of 0.06 V theoretically, which is much lower than the energy needed for water electrolysis (1.23 V), noted the research team.

In this study, the research team propose a well-established procedure using in operando gas chromatography that enables us to reliably compare and evaluate the new catalyst for ammonia oxidation. According to the research team, with the protocol, they could distinguish in detail the competitive oxidation reaction between the ammonia oxidation and oxygen evolution reactions with real-time monitoring.

With the use of flower-like electrodeposited Pt catalyst, researchers have efficiently produced hydrogen with less power consumption of 734 LH2 kW h-1, which is significantly lower than that of the water-splitting process (242 LH2 kW h-1). "The use of this rigorous protocol should help to evaluate the practical performances for ammonia oxidation, thus enabling the field to focus on viable pathways towards the practical electrochemical oxidation of ammonia to hydrogen," noted the research team.

- This press release was originally published on the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology website