Ammonia as fuel?

Recently Mike Moore release a documentary titled Planet of the Humans. You may be able to find it on YouTube, but it has been removed a few times. Currently, as of this writing, it is being censored by YouTube.

In this movie, the concept of renewables as it is currently being deployed is attacked for missing the mark on the intended goals. The challenge with wind and solar is primarily their ability to act as an "on-demand" power source. As such they must be backstopped by fossil fuel power sources. This results in a greater carbon footprint. Renewable machines are constructed using carbon-intensive methods and fossil fuel production is nearly the same as the renewables. These strategies accomplish nothing towards the global goals of reducing the amount of CO2 produced.

The problem is not that renewables are inefficient while producing, it is rather that they are producing power when it is not required and often are unable to produce power at critical times. Think of what your life would be like on 100% renewables when it is cloudy and not windy. The problem with renewables is battery storage. The great part of fossil fuels is they themselves act as a battery.

What if the excess power could be stored? Tesla has a concept for a household, but while this solid-state solution is very elegant; it is also very expensive. Liquids, (propane, gasoline, diesel) have the greatest and lowest cost storage available. Ammonia can be used for this type of storage.

Ammonia is used primarily as a fertilizer, this is due to the nitrogen content, the chemical formula for ammonia is NH3. Throughout the world ammonia is produced to be made into a variety of products; it is the starting point for much of the food production. However, looking at the chemical formula there is an abundance of hydrogen.

Water (H2O) can be split into oxygen and hydrogen with an electrolyzer, this has in the past been rendered uneconomic due to the cost of the power to perform this separation. However, with "free" power from an underutilized renewable power plant, this equation changes.

We are working with Proton Ventures to develop a solution for Canada; this could be game-changing for the renewables industry.


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