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Thread: A NASA-Backed Study Will Test Ammonia as a Carbon-Free Alternative to Jet Fuel

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    Default A NASA-Backed Study Will Test Ammonia as a Carbon-Free Alternative to Jet Fuel

    Most of the the aviation industry’s efforts to seek out alternatives to fossil fuels have focused on the viability of electric engines, hydrogen power and Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Now, a new study will explore yet another potential alternative: ammonia.

    The University of Central Florida announced this week that it would begin testing ammonia as a potential fuel solution for aircraft. The program is backed by a five-year grant from NASA worth $10 million, and it hopes to determine whether ammonia represents a realistic fuel option for commercial airliners.

    The research team will work with a modified Boeing 737 aircraft to test new ammonia-fueled jet engines.

    Most of the the aviation industry’s efforts to seek out alternatives to fossil fuels have focused on the viability of electric engines, hydrogen power and Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Now, a new study will explore yet another potential alternative: ammonia.

    The University of Central Florida announced this week that it would begin testing ammonia as a potential fuel solution for aircraft. The program is backed by a five-year grant from NASA worth $10 million, and it hopes to determine whether ammonia represents a realistic fuel option for commercial airliners.

    The team will be led by faculty from the university and experts from Georgia Tech and Purdue. In addition, companies within the aviation sector, such as Boeing, Southwest Research Institute, and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, have also been tapped to join the program.

    Researchers hope to find ways to use ammonia as the main hydrogen carrier to create carbon-free emissions while in flight. To accommodate the new fuel, the team is also developing new jet engine components, using a Boeing 737-8 as a base model.

    Dr. Jayanta Kapata, a UCF professor and the study’s lead investigator, believes ammonia could be a carbon-free alternative to conventional gas. “Use of ammonia as an aviation fuel will not produce any carbon dioxide. Ammonia is the only potential alternative aviation fuel that allows a pathway for near-elimination of nitrogen oxides in engine exhaust,” he told Robb Report in an email. “In addition, ammonia can also greatly reduce formation of contrails that also impact earth’s radiation balance. Thus, among all aviation alternatives, ammonia can provide some unique advantages that can’t be matched by the rest.”

    The University of Central Florida ammonia study begins at a time when airlines such as United and TAP Portugal have begun to implement strategies to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel on commercial flights. However, UCF’s study, which will run through 2027, isn’t the industry’s first flirtation with ammonia. Indeed, Australian company Aviation H2 announced already plans to partially operate its Dassault Falcon 50 business jet on ammonia by mid-2023.

    Whether ammonia can offer a scalable carbon-free alternative to conventional gas is an open question. The UCF study, hopefully, will give us some answers when it concludes.

    https://robbreport.com/motors/aviati...dy-1234735414/
    As Gustave Le Bo lamented: “The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduces them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primavera View Post
    Most of the the aviation industry’s efforts to seek out alternatives to fossil fuels have focused on the viability of electric engines, hydrogen power and Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Now, a new study will explore yet another potential alternative: ammonia.

    The University of Central Florida announced this week that it would begin testing ammonia as a potential fuel solution for aircraft. The program is backed by a five-year grant from NASA worth $10 million, and it hopes to determine whether ammonia represents a realistic fuel option for commercial airliners.

    The research team will work with a modified Boeing 737 aircraft to test new ammonia-fueled jet engines.

    Most of the the aviation industry’s efforts to seek out alternatives to fossil fuels have focused on the viability of electric engines, hydrogen power and Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Now, a new study will explore yet another potential alternative: ammonia.

    The University of Central Florida announced this week that it would begin testing ammonia as a potential fuel solution for aircraft. The program is backed by a five-year grant from NASA worth $10 million, and it hopes to determine whether ammonia represents a realistic fuel option for commercial airliners.

    The team will be led by faculty from the university and experts from Georgia Tech and Purdue. In addition, companies within the aviation sector, such as Boeing, Southwest Research Institute, and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, have also been tapped to join the program.

    Researchers hope to find ways to use ammonia as the main hydrogen carrier to create carbon-free emissions while in flight. To accommodate the new fuel, the team is also developing new jet engine components, using a Boeing 737-8 as a base model.

    Dr. Jayanta Kapata, a UCF professor and the study’s lead investigator, believes ammonia could be a carbon-free alternative to conventional gas. “Use of ammonia as an aviation fuel will not produce any carbon dioxide. Ammonia is the only potential alternative aviation fuel that allows a pathway for near-elimination of nitrogen oxides in engine exhaust,” he told Robb Report in an email. “In addition, ammonia can also greatly reduce formation of contrails that also impact earth’s radiation balance. Thus, among all aviation alternatives, ammonia can provide some unique advantages that can’t be matched by the rest.”

    The University of Central Florida ammonia study begins at a time when airlines such as United and TAP Portugal have begun to implement strategies to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel on commercial flights. However, UCF’s study, which will run through 2027, isn’t the industry’s first flirtation with ammonia. Indeed, Australian company Aviation H2 announced already plans to partially operate its Dassault Falcon 50 business jet on ammonia by mid-2023.

    Whether ammonia can offer a scalable carbon-free alternative to conventional gas is an open question. The UCF study, hopefully, will give us some answers when it concludes.

    https://robbreport.com/motors/aviati...dy-1234735414/
    Interesting

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    .
    H2 and NH3 – the Perfect Marriage in a Carbon-free Society

    TRANSITIONING our energy economy away from fossil fuel dependence towards one based on renewable and alternative forms of energy requires novel solutions for energy storage, in which the role of hydrogen has promising potential. The intermittency and seasonal variation of solar and wind power leads to a mismatch between energy supply and demand, which will intensify as we decrease our dependence on traditional gas and coal-powered generators. This challenge has driven extensive research into battery, capacitor and chemical energy storage as buffer systems to balance the variation of renewable energy supply on the grid.

    As detailed in a previous article of this series1, a significant obstacle to the wider implementation of hydrogen in energy trade is its costly and energy-intensive storage coupled with safety concerns associated with its high flammability. In this article, we focus on the chemical storage of hydrogen in the form of ammonia to alleviate hydrogen’s storage and safety issues. Ammonia is explored as a complementary future energy vector with applications in specific cases.

    Read more: https://www.thechemicalengineer.com/...-free-society/
    As Gustave Le Bo lamented: “The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduces them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yakuda View Post
    Interesting
    Queensland advances green hydrogen and ammonia project to be powered by renewables

    Queensland is at the forefront in the production of green hydrogen and ammonia.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australi...-by-renewables
    As Gustave Le Bo lamented: “The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduces them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primavera View Post
    Queensland advances green hydrogen and ammonia project to be powered by renewables

    Queensland is at the forefront in the production of green hydrogen and ammonia.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australi...-by-renewables
    Do we know if it will be cheaper than fossil fuels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdog View Post
    Do we know if it will be cheaper than fossil fuels.
    Yes most likely once they get production up to scale.
    As Gustave Le Bo lamented: “The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduces them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primavera View Post
    Yes most likely once they get production up to scale.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primavera View Post

    Yes most likely once they get production up to scale.
    Ammonia is the ideal way to transport hydrogen in bulk, especially via ships and pipelines.

    The idea of using ammonia as a carrier for hydrogen delivery has gained traction in recent years because ammonia is much easier to liquify than hydrogen and is therefore much easier to store and transport. Northwestern's technological breakthrough overcomes several existing barriers to the production of clean hydrogen from ammonia.

    "The bane for hydrogen fuel cells has been the lack of delivery infrastructure," said Sossina Haile, lead author of the study. "It's difficult and expensive to transport hydrogen, but an extensive ammonia delivery system already exists. There are pipelines for it. We deliver lots of ammonia all over the world for fertilizer. If you give us ammonia, the electrochemical systems we developed can convert that ammonia to fuel-cell-ready, clean hydrogen on-site at any scale."

    Haile is Walter P. Murphy Professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering with additional appointments in applied physics and chemistry. She also is co-director at the University-wide Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern.

    In the study, Haile and her research team report they are able to conduct the ammonia-to-hydrogen conversion using renewable electricity instead of fossil-fueled thermal energy because the process functions at much lower temperatures than traditional methods (250 degrees Celsius as opposed to 500 to 600 degrees Celsius). Second, the new technique generates pure hydrogen that does not need to be separated from any unreacted ammonia or other products. Third, the process is efficient because all of the electrical current supplied to the device directly produces hydrogen, without any loss to parasitic reactions. As an added advantage, because the hydrogen produced is pure, it can be directly pressurized for high-density storage by simply ramping up the electrical power.

    To accomplish the conversion, the researchers built a unique electrochemical cell with a proton-conducting membrane and integrated it with an ammonia-splitting catalyst.

    "The ammonia first encounters the catalyst that splits it into nitrogen and hydrogen," Haile said. "That hydrogen gets immediately converted into protons, which are then electrically driven across the proton-conducting membrane in our electrochemical cell. By continually pulling off the hydrogen, we drive the reaction to go further than it would otherwise. This is known as Le Chatelier's principle. By removing one of the products of the ammonia-splitting reaction -- namely the hydrogen -- we push the reaction forward, beyond what the ammonia-splitting catalyst can do alone."

    The hydrogen generated from the ammonia splitting then can be used in a fuel cell. Like batteries, fuel cells produce electric power by converting energy produced by chemical reactions. Unlike batteries, fuel cells can produce electricity as long as fuel is supplied, never losing their charge. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when consumed in a fuel cell, produces water as its only byproduct. This stands in contrast with fossil fuels, which produce climate-changing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

    Haile predicts that the new technology could be especially transformative in the transportation sector. In 2018, the movement of people and goods by cars, trucks, trains, ships, airplanes and other vehicles accounted for 28% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. -- more than any other economic sector according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

    "Battery-powered vehicles are great, but there's certainly a question of range and material supply," Haile said. "Converting ammonia to hydrogen on-site and in a distributed way would allow you to drive into a fueling station and get pressurized hydrogen for your car. There's also a growing interest for hydrogen fuel cells for the aviation industry because batteries are so heavy."

    Haile and her team have made major advances in the area of fuel cells over the years. As a next step in their work, they are exploring new methods to produce ammonia in an environmentally friendly way.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1118141718.htm
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    interesting concept. question is, what will this do to the current standard jet engine mechanics and how will it affect maintenance cycles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmarterthanYou View Post
    interesting concept. question is, what will this do to the current standard jet engine mechanics and how will it affect maintenance cycles.
    That's what they are attempting to find out. Not just planes but trains, trucks and ships will be powered by ammonia in future.
    As Gustave Le Bo lamented: “The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduces them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”

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