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In the conversion from fossil fuels to climate-friendly energy sources, ammonia can play a key role in the future - provided it is produced from green hydrogen and using renewable energy sources, for example. Ammonia is easy to store and transport. Converting hydrogen into ammonia is a viable option for using it both on-site for large-scale industrial processes and decentrally as an energy source, for example in the logistics industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microtechnology and Microsystems IMM in Mainz are developing ammonia-based systems for mobile and decentralised energy supply in the areas of infrastructure, transport and industry. Insights into the research projects are now available at HANNOVER MESSE 2023.

Researchers make ammonia combustible

However, ammonia is not very suitable for energy generation through conventional combustion, as it is practically incombustible in air. As part of the "Cracked Gas" project, researchers from Fraunhofer IMM and project partners are therefore developing a burner technology for this gas mixture, which is to be used for firing masonry bricks. In this way, ammonia from electrolytically generated hydrogen can be used to make the entire process chain of brick production carbon dioxide-free.

Ammonia becomes hydrogen again

Ammonia can also be used to supply hydrogen to land vehicles. With the help of decentralised plants, ammonia can be converted into hydrogen directly at the filling station. In this way, the costly and time-consuming transport of compressed and liquefied hydrogen can be eliminated. For the conversion of ammonia into hydrogen, Fraunhofer IMM is developing a crack reactor based on innovative catalyst technology and microstructured reactor technology. In this AMMONPAKTOR reactor, pure hydrogen is produced from ammonia by splitting and subsequent purification, which can then be fed into PEM fuel cells. In this way, hydrogen is produced from sustainably produced ammonia directly at filling stations for use in fuel cell vehicles.