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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/F028083/1
Principal Investigator: Tao, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Irvine, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2007 Ends: 30 September 2008 Value (£): 87,874
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Fuel Cell Technologies Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 Aug 2007 Energy Feasibility Studies Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, a very clean energy source and the most efficient fuel for fuel cells (FC) and can be produced from a variety of resources / coal, natural gas, biomass and water. At the moment, about 95% of the hydrogen comes from reforming natural gas; the remainder from water electrolysis, using electricity generated mainly by burning fossil fuels. Development of a clean and sustainable energy future based on a hydrogen economy could solve pollution problems and secure needs for abundant and affordable energy. However, hydrogen storage remains a major challenge for hydrogen economy. Hydrogen may be indirectly stored in light chemicals such as ammonia, methane, methanol etc. Hydrogen from reforming of natural gas may be further used to produce ammonia fertiliser. Cheap ammonia fertilizers are potential energy vectors as well. Adblue, a urea solution developed by Europe's AdBlue urea-SCR project is available across Europe. AdBlue is the major target fuel for the proposed ammonia fuel cells to power electric vehicles in the future. Already there are more than 200 locations in the UK holding stocks of GreenChem AdBlue. The current price for AdBlue is 45p per liter. The price may further drop on mass-production. The current price of fertiliser urea is 185/ton in UK although purer urea is required for fuel cell.This application is to study the feasibility to use ammonia fertilisers particular urea as an alternative energy vector. Whilst mature technologies to convert urea to ammonia exist, there is no technology available to use urea, such as AdBlue, to power electric vehicles. The major target is to demonstrate intermediate temperature fuel cells directly fuelled with ammonia (or indirectly from urea) to power electric vehicles for transport application in the future. CO2 for production of ammonia fertilisers may be collected and stored through CO2 sequestration technologies. Therefore urea fuel cell is an important complementary technology for carbon abatement. The as-developed fuel cells may potentially be fuelled with hydrogen and methanol as well. It is also a biofuel related technology if biofuel is used for the as-developed fuel cells.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk