Researchers from the International Research Organization for Advanced Science and Technology (IROAST) in Kumamoto University, in Japan, succeeded in unfolding a new catalyst which enhances ammonia (NH3) combustibility and transcends the generation of Nitrogen Oxide (NOX).
Climate change and the use of significant amounts of renewable energy are two of the most critical issues that are commonly recognized among developing countries. Hydrogen (H2) is identified as a renewable energy source. It must be first liquefied, which is difficult, for more accessible storage and transportation.
Ammonia was founded as a promising carrier because it has a high Hydrogen (H2) density; it is easily liquefied and can be produced on a larger scale.
Ammonia is a carbon-free fuel that does not emit carbon dioxide. It is a combustible gas that can be widely used in thermal power generation and industrial furnaces. Although ammonia is difficult to burn during the process of combustion, it generates harmful nitrogen oxides.
To solve fuel problems of ammonia (NH3), researchers at the International Research Organization for Advanced Science and Technology (IROAST) in Kumamoto University, Japan, focused on a “catalytic combustion method.” This method adds substances that promote chemical reactions during fuel combustion.
The catalyst is a multi-type crystal structure that carries copper oxide. When ammonia is burned with this, it stays highly active in the process of making Nitrogen (N2), which means that it suppresses the Nitrogen Oxide (NOX) formation, and the catalyst does not change even at high temperatures.
The newly found catalyst can be manufactured quickly and at low cost. The usage of this catalyst allows the decomposition of ammonia (NH3) in Hydrogen (H2) with heat from ammonia (NH3) fuel combustion and the purification of ammonia through oxidation.
Study leader Dr. Satoshi Hinokuma of IROAST said, “Our catalyst appears to be a step in the right direction to fight anthropogenic climate change since it does not emit greenhouse gases like CO2 and should improve the sophistication of renewable energy within our society.” He also added, “We are planning to conduct further research and development under more practical conditions in the future.”