Water and air are all you need to make one of world’s most important chemicals

The Conversation:

Researchers have developed a method to produce ammonia simply from air and water. Not only is it more energy efficient than the century-old Haber-Bosch process currently in use all over the world, but it is also greener.

Ammonia – made up of three parts hydrogen and one part nitrogen (or NH3) – has had a momentous impact on society. Without the mass production of this chemical, it is estimated that as many as a third of us won’t be alive. This is because its main use is to make fertilisers, which have helped improve crop yields and sustain a large population.

I had no idea that ammonia production “consumes nearly 2% of the world’s energy supply” but as the article points out, even this process is no where near as efficient as Mother Nature.

  • Moeskido

    As I remember, fertilizer manufacturing was the way many munitions factories repurposed their businesses after World War II’s end took their weapons contracts away. It’d be interesting to see if those businesses reject this new development as a way to avoid retooling.