Did you know that you are eating food from methane gas?
These 31 Million tons of Hydrogen used for fertilizers are made by methane gas reforming. Isn’t it disgusting if you think of the smell of sulfur from odoration of gases?
The reason for the ammonia demand is simple. The nutrients on our fields have been used up by centuries of farming. So the farmers nowadays input them by ammonia to spread on the fields.
As you can see on slide 8 the ammonia production as fertilizer made by hydrogen is subsequently rising.
green ammonia production
To make organic fertilizer you need nitrogen and green hydrogen. Together they form NH3.
Green Hydrogen can be easily produced with the VOLKS-ELECTROLYZER seen above.
an electrolyzer with integrated nitrogen extraction
Nitrogen can be extracted from the air. It condense at -77 °C, which is a Temperatur we can reach with sustainable refrigerants.
absorption cooling with green hydrogen electrolyzer waste heat
Read this article on Absorption refrigerator – Wikipedia.
Isn’t it funny that the absorption refrigerator uses ammonia as solvent?
Isn’t it also funny that green hydrogen electrolysers stay at places with renewable electricity which could power the second stage refrigeration down to -80 °.
When air flows around the cold exchanger the 80 % Nitrogen in the air liquifies. The liquid Nitrogen can be than stored in Pressure vessels similar to a hydrogen cylinders.
Haber Bosch and green ammonia from electrolysis
This process is very expensive due to centralised production and long distance transport costs.
Onsite Ammonia Produktion for organic fertilizer
Ammonia synthesis by electride catalyst could be the future of onsite ammonia production.
Conclusion about solar ammonia fertilizer production
It is fun to see what is possible once you have free energy at hand. Of course the technology for organic ammonia production hasn’t been widely developed yet.
Luckily some projects already proof the possibility of green fertilizers like this company in spain.
As soon as you will quantify the green ammonia production with you might see that solar, wind and hydro power are weak and the technology to complicated and expensive.
But most of all it shows
We should grow regenerative energies, and use green hydrogen to store as much energy as possible from it.
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and check electrolyzer cost of more than 20 hydrogen manufacturers to see our best value
Did you know that you are eating food made with methane gas?
31 million tons of hydrogen used for fertilizers are made by methane gas reforming in Europe.
Isn’t it disgusting if you think of the smell of the sulfur we put in the propane for instance or just the thing that this is like comes out of a oil bubble in the ground.
But anyway, the reason why we need this ammonia is that the nutrients in our Fields have been used up by centuries of farming.
The farmers nowadays input all the nutrients the plant need to grow in the form of ammonia and spread it on the fields.
While the plant grows, it uses up the same ammonia we just put in and then we eat these fruits for dinner.
But there is a NICER way, a Green Way, a sustainable way to make ammonia as well.
Of course you all know the volks electrolyzer which makes hydrogen from renewable energies.
Could be wind could be PV, could be Hydro.
What has that to do with ammonia, organic fertilizers and food?
How does green ammonia production work?
For green ammonia you need nitrogen and hydrogen.
Nitrogen has the chemical abbreviation of N and hydrogen is a molecule and is abbreviated by H2.
Ammonia which is the fertilizer we need is NH3.
So is it possible to have an electrolyzer with integrated nitrogen extraction and onsite ammonia production?
Yeah that sounds weird but it is actually possible. If we take a look at our stack our electrolyzer it produces the hydrogen.
It’s easy so I make the hydrogen in green okay this is one output we have.
But the electrolyzer also emits heat! why do I say that? because yeah the second thing we needed was the nitrogen.
To make nitrogen what do we have to do? We have to know what we are working with and where it comes from.
Nitrogen is all over this place. Nitrogen is 80% of our air and the good thing about nitrogen is it condenses at a temperature of – 77° C
Which is a temperature we can easily reach.
how can we reach low temperatures for Nitrogen extraction?
with refrigerators of course
So we have this waste heat. A pem electrolyzer works at 80° Centigrade.
You might have heard of absortion refrigerators in the camping sector. there are this domestic absorption refrigerators which you can Power by propane gas or electricity.
Sometimes it’s useful when you’re camping you use the propane when you are off grid and you use the power when you are on a camping site.
And you get uh cool fresh beverages.
You can check out the article on absorption Refrigeration on Wikipedia I will just make it very simple.
We have two containers and in this container is a solution of funnily ammonia NH3 and water. yes no joke so this ammonia solution will will evaporate by normally it’s 90° but I think we could do it with 80° from our electrolyzer as well if we work on this process.
There are internal pumps pumping around different concentrations of Ammonia.
So that at this point this solution evaporates and if something
evaporates we know we get cold temperatures.
If you go out of the water after swimming and there’s a wind blowing you feel very cold and that’s actually the thing so the solution
evaporates and we can get this code temperature out of it.
normally it’s not that low. normally minus one or something but we want to have -77 let’s say we get out of this process we get minus 20s so we put in a second refrigerator which is a normal compressor
There we have a the compressor and the evaporator and here we have two heat exchangers and we put in a little bit more of the energy we have through solar and wind and hydro and then we hopefully we get at this side we get minus 80° Celsius
So what we do now, is we put a fan and blow air over the heat exchanger and what happens, the nitrogen in the air will condense and fall as a liquid into our tray and we collect it in a pressure cylinder.
Let’s say it’s full until here and it is – 80° then we close the valve and the temperature rises naturally the nitrogen would like to evaporate but it is a pressure vessel and the nitrogen cannot evaporate.
nitrogen for our onsite ammonia production
The hydrogen we have from the electrolyzes of water now how to combine them you can read the article on the habor BOSCH process that’s the to the way it is actually been done in big refineries or big chemical plants.
It is a huge process with high temperatures and lots of containers which have different jobs to do. When I did this research I found a Japanese company I would like to introduce you which found out a process which is called electride catalysts.
The mechanism of ammonia synthesis by Electric Catalyst works as follows and they have this nice schema you see here which is like “winter wonderland”.
There’s not written which Catalyst this is at what temperatures this happens but the magic happens.
The business case for this electride catalysts is that it is decentralizing the ammonia production and that’s actually also what the folks electrolyzer does.
It decentralizes the hydrogen production or the energy use from the traditional way of consuming it buying it at the shop or buying it at a energy provider to producing it yourself.
They have a beautiful 3D animation of the what they call small scale onsite ammonia production module using electride Catalyst
and if you take a really close and precise look you might be able to see this people here yeah.
So I’m not an expert but I think maybe this is a 36t container with or two 36t containers on top of each other
so we have this magic machine which is inside two containers
and we have our Folks electrolyzer which is not even 2 ft High 1 ft deep 2 and 1/2 ft Wide.
What’s the conclusion?
The conclusion is onsite ammonia production for organic organic fertilizer would be great.
You know you could have like Agri photovoltaics which is photovoltaics over crops. you could produce your hydrogen and you could produce organic fertilizer for the crop
The ammonia synthesis by Electro electride Catalyst could be the future of on-site ammonia production but it is still very big and if we think of all the things we had here:
so we need the electrolyzer we need hydrogen cylinders we need the energy the electricity let’s say I make the electricity in pink the electrolyzer takes electricity this pumps takes electricity our traditional compressor refrigerator takes electricity and I’m sure this container also on top here needs electricity so we need a huge solar area we need the absorption cooler here we need the compressor cooler here we need the fan blowing enormous amounts of air yes because we are talking about a density of
nitrogen of 1.2 G per liter or 1.2 kg per cubic meter if you remember from the hydrogen price list one cub meter of hydrogen is around 90 90 G yes we calculate all these calculations here are made with a density of 0.089 G per liter for the hydrogen okay this fan is really big this fan is really expensive the condenser is expensive okay if the nitrogen is fluid that is maybe easy but then you need to transport bought this all in pipes stainless steel or whatsoever the thing is I would
say this would be bloody expensive and now the question is what’s ammonia worth ammonia in small
quantities yes obviously they uh they say you need 30 to 70 G per square met of ammonia for your CR up and 1 kilg of ammonia is worth about €1 or
$1 so you will need to produce something like 3 million kilogramm of ammonia in 10 years to get a cost benefit analysis which is in a plus line I hope you found this interesting I just like this idea of this organic farm with hydrogen production.