21 April, 2020
Globally, ammonia-based fertilisers are responsible for supporting 50 percent of the world’s food production— ammonia is one of the single largest chemical industrial processes on Earth.
MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator, Dr Franck Natali, is leading commercialisation of a newly discovered process to manufacture ammonia at room temperature and low pressure, with support from Wellington UniVentures (previously named Viclink).
The team have been working on techniques to deposit thin film coatings of rare earth nitrides and have developed an application of these thin films that enables distributed small-scale ammonia production.
A distributed model of ammonia production offers the exciting prospect of end users of agricultural fertilisers being able to make these where they’re needed, substantially reducing logistics and transport costs and emissions. Low energy manufacture would also reduce the carbon dioxide emissions inherent in current manufacturing processes.
The group will be developing a prototype scale process in partnership with process engineers this year with recently announced funding from the Preseed Accelerator Fund.