Integrated Ammonia Synthesis and Separation

Deepak K. Ojha, Matthew J. Kale, Alon V. McCormick, Michael Reese, Mahdi Malmali, Paul Dauenhauer, E. L. Cussler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Ammonia is made by combining nitrogen and hydrogen at high pressure. In the conventional process on the left, these gases are partially reacted at about 400 °C, and ammonia is recovered by condensation at -20 °C. In an alternative shown in the center, the reactor is the same, but the more complete separation is conducted by absorption in metal chlorides at about 150-400 °C. In this work, both reaction and absorption are integrated to occur in the same vessel at 400 °C. Experiments are conducted by combining a conventional Fe-based catalyst with NiCl2 and MgCl2 sorbents in a semibatch reactor in the presence of stoichiometric nitrogen and hydrogen gases. This alternative has synthesis rates comparable with the other two but with a lower capital investment necessary for distributed ammonia synthesis using solar or wind energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18785-18792
Number of pages8
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Chemical Society.


  • absorption
  • ammonia
  • reaction
  • sustainable


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