A novel system for ammonia-based sustainable energy and agriculture: Concept and design optimization

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This work presents a new vision for sustainable energy supply and agriculture: an ammonia-based sustainable energy agriculture (ABSEA) system. This intensified system uses renewables to produce ammonia both as fertilizer and as fuel for tractors and grain drying, to meet local electrical power demand and to provide predictable, consistent power export to the grid. The conceptual design of this system exploits synergies between ammonia production and energy supply to allow for economic viability, specifically time-varying chemical production as well as the potential of ammonia and hydrogen as energy storage media. A framework for combined optimization of the ABSEA design and its inherently time-varying operating schedule is proposed with a view on further improving economic competitiveness. A case study which considers the use of wind turbines to meet ammonia fertilizer and fuel demands of 40,300 kg/year and an annual hourly average power demand of 985 kW demonstrates the promise of the ABSEA system and the associated design-scheduling optimization framework. The annual net present cost is approximately $75,000, which corresponds to an emissions reduction cost of $17.60/tonCO2. The ABSEA optimal design uses both hydrogen and ammonia, but not a battery, for energy storage, illustrating their efficacy in this synergistic application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing - Process Intensification
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Design
  • Optimization
  • Process intensification
  • Renewable energy
  • Scheduling


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