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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T027851/1
Title: Next generation ammonia synthesis: a highly integrated computational modelling and experimental approach
Principal Investigator: Hargreaves, Professor JSJ
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Haldor Topsoe A/S University of Poitiers
Department: School of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 21 January 2021 Ends: 20 January 2025 Value (£): 540,906
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
EP/T028416/1 EP/T028629/1 EP/T02853X/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Mar 2020 EPSRC Physical Sciences - March 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Ammonia synthesis by the Haber Bosch Process is a large scale reaction of major importance since it forms the basis of synthetic fertiliser production, with ca 85% of the ammonia produced being used to feed crops. It has been estimated that the fertiliser produced via the Haber Bosch Process sustains 40% of the current global population. This reaction is becoming more and more important as demand for food increases along with population growth. As operated currently, which involves large scale chemical plants operating at high reaction pressures and temperatures employing hydrogen feedtsocks generated from fossil fuel sources, the Haber Bosch Process is responsible for the consumption of 1-2% of manmade energy and it also results in about 1.6% of the manmade CO2 released to the atmosphere. The aim of this research is to discover and develop new catalysts which can operate in smaller reactors on a local scale such that fertilisers can be prepared close to their point of use. This will cut down on the CO2 footprint of the process since it would be possible to use feedstocks which are non-fossil fuel based and are derived from renewable energy souces such as wind power and also it would negate the requirement for transportation of fertiliser over long distances. The development of such smaller localised ammonia production units, which could be started up and shut down quickly, would require more active catalysts able to work at lower pressures than those currently employed. In this work we are using a combination of computer modelling and experiments to develop such new catalysts. The new localised sustainable ammonia production capabailities which would result from success in this area would also have impact on the growing interest in using ammonia as a fuel to replace the CO2 producing fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel currently employed.
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