Why not ammonia, NH3, as liquid fuel?

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Billy T, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I read of salt brine for ammonia storage before, also assume your hydrogen density has been reduced.
     
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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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  5. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I saw prototypes years ago.
     
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  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    It is an interesting concept, with gasoline at $2.10 per gallon it becomes a viable alternative according to the article.
     
  8. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    No, the storage is a solid solution with 9.1% Hydrogen by weight when the MgCl2 is saturated.

    I suspect that 9.1% is higher fraction of hydrogen by weight than storing Liquid NH3 is a steel tank strong enough to not rupture in any conceivable crash (i.e. 100mph into foot thick brick wall). One cannot tolerate killing many people, even bystanders, when a full tank of liquid NH3 ruptures in a crowed area. (Don't forget to add the weight of the super strong fuel line from tank to motor or fuel cell.)

    It will be tough to keep the fuel line / tank junction secure in a crash - nothing snapping off, including the pressure regulator. I have seen an oxygen cylinder that flew thru two hospital room walls before coming to rest, lodged in the third. Believe me, you do not want the regulator to snap off in a crash.

    As you speak of salt water dissolved NH3 you have missed the main point / advance of solid state storage in MgCl2 porous salt and the resulting low (safe) NH3 vapor pressure at room temperature. See post 52 with photo of the SOLID storage pellets again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2009
  9. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not really an advocate of ammonia so I don't know why your asking me to consider these things. Solid storage by all means, get ride of mild pressure and mild cryogenic considerations, maybe even the toxicity, still does nothing for the very high energetics penalties of making ammonia and it endothermic conversion to hydrogen.
     
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I only asked in first post that your revise you post 59 smumary on NH3 to reflect these recent developments. As it stands now it is at best misleading and probably should be called wrong.
     
  11. rwendell Registered Member

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    Hydrogen generation...

    Thanks, Billy T. I appreciate your comments. I'm a 65 year-old musician who worked in electronics for years and who majored in physics and mathematics for the first two years of undergraduate school. I follow all things technical as best I can, including the latest thinking in field theory and cosmology, and have a strong interest in alternative energy for what I think should be obvious reasons.

    Try googling on:

    Hydrosol Project

    Greek Solar Reactor Uses Nano-Material to Harvest Hydrogen from Water

    I think with the earlier links I've referenced we can see that we are not so very far away from solving the major blocks to a hydrogen economy: renewable generation, storage, distribution, efficient conversion to electrical energy.
     
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Or on first see:
    http://www.ekt.gr/content/display?ses_mode=rnd&ses_lang=en&prnbr=73257
    which tells of some field test of the idea, which unfortunately seems to be inherently a batch process.
    Also I am conderned about the tendency for the nano particles to become posioned by impuritite in the water. -Perhaps not a problem if the thermal desorption of the oxygen also "cleans."
     
  13. Saven Registered Member

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    Ammonia is highly toxic. Ever smelled it? The fumes may not be safe.
     
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    this is true and has been discussed, perhaps even is a solved problem - See post 52. also as you are new to Sciforums, I will tell you to in the future, prior to posting, look back at least a page to see if you have something new to add is a good policy.
     
  15. Saven Registered Member

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    Not new. Wading through 52 posts is a little insane though.
     
  16. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Not new? You joined two days ago.
     
  17. Saven Registered Member

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    In fact I joined more than one year ago, on another persona.
     
  18. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Who? After a while we get to know people. (I avoid reading posts by some of the idiots that way. Were people not responding to your old persona?)
     
  19. rwendell Registered Member

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    By the way, BillyT, platinum is way more expensive than nanocarbon structures of just about any kind. The technology for producing these structures is pretty advanced and the supply of carbon is, of course, vast. Platinum is not only extremely expensive already, but would become vastly more expensive very quickly if any technology, including fuel cells, were to become high-demand items. In fact, in simple absolute terms, there isn't enough to go around at any price, which ultimately translates to the price tending toward infinity.

    The good news is that platinum is no longer needed for fuel cells, since Monash University in Australia has discovered that GoreTex(TM) coated with a micro-thin layer of highly conductive plastic works better, is in relatively unlimited supply, and doesn't degrade upon exposure to carbon monoxide.

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  20. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

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    NH3 is disolved in water, it's rarely used compressed, NH3OH is highly prized by meth artisans, NH3 is extremely corrosive (good luck with ya engine), NH3 is not even an energy source, it's an energy hog.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2009
  21. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    You have not read much of the thread and taken the title of it too literally. You do NOT inject NH3 into a IC engine, but separate its H2 from the discardable N2 and run a H2/O2 fuel cell with O2 from the air.

    Like ALL liquid fuels, gasoline included, some energy must be added to NH3 before you can get useful fuel from it. That energy is relatively large in case of NH3 compared to gasoline, which only requires the heat of vaporization be added to make it into a useful fuel. I hesitate to mention it as some idiot may try,* but you can put a fire out with liquid gasoline. I.e. a candle can be extingiushed if large quanity of cold gasoline is dropped on it quickly enough so that no vapor gets to the flame first.

    NH3 is attract as it stores more hydrogen in the same volume (as a liquid) than even 100% liquid hydrogen does. But to get the hydrogen, you must decompose the NH3 and that requires energy - sort of a small hill you must climb before you can coast down into the deep valley on the other side. Not only does NH3 store H2 more densely than pure H2, it is much easier to liquify. - Just modest pressure will do it at room temperature.

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    * If they do, it is likely that the gene pool's average intelligence level will slightly be improved.

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2009
  22. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

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    Considering that rare Earth metals will disappear sooner than oil, fuel cells are dead end technology, with NH3 or without. First step would be making a fuel cell out of pure iron or equally available metal, it doesn't seem to be feasible. Rare Earths are goners.

    Second step would be making sure that NH3 fuel cell engines will not consume more energy and release more emissions (all things considered). Otherwise, what's the point of fuel cells, let's burn oil, at least me and you will be dead before it's going to be thoroughly exhausted. It will last longer this way.
     
  23. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    False. Pure ammonia is commonly used for all sorts of things in industry.
    I don't know what NH3OH is. I assume you were tying to write the formula for ammonium hydroxide, NH4OH, but got it wrong.
    Yeah, the gaskets etc. in your engine probably wouldn't do well with ammonia, because they were designed to work with gasoline. But people have been making ammonia-powered engines for almost 100 years.
    Going from ammonia and oxygen to nitrogen and water releases energy. Obviously it will take some energy to make the ammonia, but you can do that with non-polluting energy sources like nuclear.
    Let me guess, this is based on your vast knowledge of chemistry? Because all of the people publishing new iron-based catalysts in the chemistry journals would sure be surprised to learn that. Here is one of the most recent examples: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/324/5923/71

    Gee, we've only been discussing this for the entire thread.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2009

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