Over Renaissance of ammonia synthesis for sustainable production of energy and fertilizers

Renaissance of ammonia synthesis for sustainable production of energy and fertilizers

Avondlezing door dr. Jimmy A. Faria georganiseerd door de Chemische Kring Midden Nederland.

De lezing wordt om 19.30 uur voorafgegaan door de Algemene Ledenvergadering.

Green ammonia synthesis via the Haber–Bosch (HB) process has become a major field of research in the recent years for production of fertilizers and seasonal energy storage due to drastic drop in cost of renewable hydrogen. While the field of catalysis and engineering has worked on this subject for many years, the current process of ammonia synthesis remains essentially unaltered. As a result, current industrial developments on green ammonia are based on the HB process, which can only be economical at exceptionally large scales, limiting implementation on financially strained economies. For green ammonia to become an economic “equalizer” that supports the energy transition around the world, it is essential to facilitate the down-scalability and operational robustness of the process. In this contribution I will briefly discuss the main scientific and engineering findings that have paved the way of low temperature and pressure ammonia synthesis using heterogeneous catalysts. Following this concept, I will present a case study for the implementation of renewable ammonia in the Island of Curaçao and Fiji’s largest island Viti Levu. These two locations have distinctive wind energy availability, which enables us to estimate the impact of the cost of renewables on the final price of the electricity when using ammonia locally produced and imported as energy storage/buffer.[i],[ii],[iii]

Curriculum vitae:
CKMN-FariaDr. Faria is an Associate Professor at the University of Twente (The Netherlands) working in the Faculty of Science and Technology. He obtained his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering at the National Polytechnique University “Antonio José de Sucre” (Venezuela) in 2008. Then, he did his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma (USA) with Prof. Daniel Resasco working in catalytic reaction in liquid-liquid interfaces. After graduation he moved to Spain to work in the corporate R&D center of Abengoa. In this period, he was leading the development of technologies for hydrogen production and biomass valorization using heterogeneous catalysis. He has authored three book chapters, 36 research articles (Science, JACS, ACS Catalysis, Angewandte Chemie) and 7 patents in oil recovery enhancement, hydrogen production, and biomass conversion; and edited two books on renewable energies and environmental policies. Since his appointment at the University of Twente Dr. Faria is working on development of smart catalytic materials and processes for sustainable chemical conversions relevant for the C- an N- cycles in close collaboration with industrial partners for biomass valorization, selective dehydrogenation of alkanes in membrane reactors, reduction of nitrites in drinking water, and ammonia production. In 2022, Dr. Faria received the prestigious VIDI award from the Netherlands Research Council (NWO) to develop new catalytic materials for the valorization of plastic waste into chemicals...


[i] V.N. Sagel, K.H.R. Rouwenhorst, J.A. Faria, Green Ammonia Enables Sustainable Energy Production in Small Island Developing States: A Case Study on the Island of Curaçao, Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. (2022)

[ii] V.N. Sagel, K.H.R. Rouwenhorst, J.A. Faria, Renewable Electricity Generation in Small Island Developing States: The Effect of Importing Ammonia, Energies. 15 (2022) 3374. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15093374.

[iii] J.A. Faria, Renaissance of ammonia synthesis for sustainable production of energy and fertilizers, Curr. Opin. Green Sustain. Chem. 29 (2021) 100466. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogsc.2021.100466.

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