U of MN's Ammonia Program
BBE Faculty Roger Ruan's work in ammonia synthesis was recently featured in an article from Ammonia Energy, a science blog that is considered "the global information portal for ammonia as an energy vector."
View this article, by Stephan Crolius, in its entirety in Ammonia Energy.
Another group, led by Rongsheng [Roger] Ruan of the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, is investigating a method of ammonia synthesis that is compatible with both lower temperatures and pressures.
This method is based on technology Ruan developed while studying production of fuels from biomass feedstocks. The technology, as described in a pending patent application, involves non-thermal plasma (NTP). According to a presentation delivered at the 2015 NH3 Fuel Conference, NTP is a type of plasma that consists of "energized ions and highly reactive radicals made in non-pressurized gas with electrical discharge." The patent application states that "the NTP effectively provides energy to overcome certain reaction barriers. It is believed that a non-thermal plasma works in synergy with certain catalysts directly dissociating gaseous molecules reactant to form highly reactive free radicals or ions while also possibly reducing the activation energy required by the catalysts to function efficiently.
View this article in its entirety in Ammonia Energy.