Electrochemical synthesis of green ammonia using functionalized hollow fibre electrodes

Piotr Krzywda (PhD Candidate), Guido Mul (promotor), Nieck Benes (promotor)

Duration: 2017-2021

Funding:  This work is taking place within the framework of the Institute of Sustainable Process Technology, co-funded with subsidy from the Topsector Energy by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, The Netherlands

Recently, NH3 is being investigated as potential renewable energy carrier due to high hydrogen content, low cost of nitrogen sourcing and possibility of creating pathway to fully CO2-free energy storage. Currently, synthesis of NH3 on industrial scale is based on Haber-Bosh process which is very energy intensive and releases large amount of COto the atmosphere. For these reasons, looking for new ways of ammonia synthesis is highly desired, among which electrochemical ways are particularly attractive.

Key words
Ti hollow fibres, porous electrodes, green ammonia

Technological challenges
Achieving high electrochemical conversion rates of gases with low solubility in water can be very challenging due to mass transport limitations. Recently new type of electrode geometry in the form of porous, metallic tube (also called hollow fibre) was developed. When reactive gas is provided from inside of the tube, a gas-solid-liquid interface with high local concentration of reactant can be created in the electrode wall improving mass transport. Since full understanding of these type of electrodes is still missing, exploring new applications which could help to understand its benefit for electrochemical reactions is necessary.

Research goals
The main aim of the project is to investigate behavior of metallic hollow fibre electrodes in electrochemical conversion of N2/NOx into ammonia. In addition, process parameters study in order to increase conversion rates in aqueous based electrolyte in ambient conditions are the part of the study.