Green Ammonia Synthesis Using Electrolytes : Indian Scientists Unveil - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Green Ammonia Synthesis Using Electrolytes : Indian Scientists Unveil

Here’s an article posted in swarajyamog that talks about the breakthrough unveiled by the Indian scientists for efficient Ammonia synthesis.

According to the article,

  • Indian scientists have developed a new aqueous electrolyte to make electrochemical ammonia synthesis more efficient.
  • The new electrolyte (NaBF4) acts as an N2-carrier and co-catalyst to deliver high yield of ammonia (NH3) at ambient experimental conditions.
  • The breakthrough could benefit green energy and hydrogen industries by reducing carbon emissions in the fertilizer industry and providing a promising solution for the production of green energy
  • The researchers have filed a patent for this work and are now working on an electrolyser to achieve a rapid rate of ammonia production at an industrial scale.

Let’s delve into the details and expand upon this fascinating advancement:

Current Challenges in Ammonia Synthesis:

  1. Nitrogen Solubility Issues: Traditional electrochemical methods face challenges due to the poor solubility of nitrogen gas (N2) in aqueous electrolytes, hindering efficient ammonia synthesis.
  2. Competitive Hydrogen Evolution Reaction (HER): The hydrogen evolution reaction competes with nitrogen reduction, impacting the yield of ammonia.

Novel Electrolyte Solution:

  • Introduction of NaBF4 Electrolyte: Scientists from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) Mohali, under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), developed an innovative aqueous electrolyte based on NaBF4.
  • Dual Functionality: NaBF4 not only acts as an N2 carrier but also functions as a co-catalyst, alongside transition metal-doped nanocarbon (MnN4), enhancing ammonia yield.
  • Ambient Conditions: Importantly, this electrolyte enables high-yield ammonia production under ambient experimental conditions, a significant advancement from previous methods requiring harsh conditions.

Research Insights:

  • Focus on Electrolyte Development: While catalyst development has been a primary focus in past research, this breakthrough underscores the importance of electrolyte innovation, with only 4.7% of research efforts historically directed towards electrolyte improvements.
  • High NH3 Production Rate: The developed electrolyte facilitates NH3 production rates approaching industrial scale, surpassing many standard catalysts in other electrolyte media.
  • NH3 Source Confirmation: Thorough research confirms that the primary source of NH3 is the electrochemical reduction of purged N2 gas, emphasizing the efficacy of this novel electrolyte.

Implications and Future Directions:

  • Sustainable Ammonia Production: This innovation holds promise for industries involved in green energy and hydrogen production, contributing to sustainable development goals.
  • Patent and Further Research: With a filed patent, the researchers are advancing towards developing an electrolyser for rapid ammonia production at an industrial scale, indicating real-world applicability and commercial potential.


About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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