Project in short

Ammonia is one of the most important basic industrial chemicals in today's society since it does not only serve as a building block for nitrogen-rich fertilizer, but it also offers a carbon-free energy carrier, being easily condensed into liquid for transportation. It therefore represents a fuel, which may enable a complete cycle of synthesis, and consumption that does not result in net emission of greenhouse gases.

The main objective of TELEGRAM project is to demonstrate at the laboratory scale level a complete green ammonia carbon-neutral cycle.

Compared to the Haber –Bosch process, the big advantage of the proposed approach is that it can be performed at atmospheric pressure and low temperature (below 100°C), therefore requiring simplified plants and compact infrastructures, and enabling the production of ammonia regardless of location. Moreover, compared to hydrogen, ammonia can be more easily stored and the TELEGRAM approach of directly using ammonia in a fuel cell to generate electricity, allows the elimination of the additional process of H2 generation (and purification) from ammonia.

This target will be achieved through the development of two critical technologies, now at the level of the proof of concept (TRL3): the synthesis of NH3 and its use as fuel. These issues will be tackled by applying a unified approach based on electrochemistry: the electrochemical synthesis of ammonia powered by renewable energy sources, and NH3 powered fuel cells for electricity generation. Both these two technological steps will be investigated, and the challenges related to intermittent renewable energy sources will be addressed.

A strong effort will be dedicated to the development of novel catalysts and devices for both reactions. Novel high entropy multicomponent alloys, such as high entropy oxide, and nitrides, as well as N-doped oxides will be produced and evaluated. Nanostructured materials will be also investigated and specific solutions will be developed in order to minimize the amount of noble metals, presently the best choice for direct ammonia fuel cells.
Test facilities to test the catalysts in operation and monitor products and side-reactions by in operando analytical methods will be developed. The more promising materials will be tested in the whole system, with the implementation of laboratory scale demonstrators for the ammonia synthesis and for the direct ammonia fuel cell.

 

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 101006941.

The project started on the 1st of November 2020 with a duration of 42 months.

 

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