Ammonia: Smarter hydrogen for decarbonization?

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Fraunhofer IMM

In the Business Unit ENERGY we deal with current and future issues concerning the mobile and decentralized provision and storage of electrical energy with a stronger focus on sustainable energy sources. Our activities are directly related to the Fraunhofer Strategic Research Field HYDROGEN TECHNOLOGIES, promote the decarbonization of industry and increasingly aim at CO2 neutrality in processes.

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Dr. Peter Wernig


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Dr. Gunther Kolb


Ammonia: Smarter hydrogen for decarbonization?

When decarbonization is discussed everyone thinks of hydrogen. With regard to transport and storage, however, there are considerable hurdles to be overcome before hydrogen can be widely used as an energy carrier. Liquefying hydrogen for example requires about one-third of the energy that can then be used afterwards and compression to 700 bar also causes considerable energy losses. Compared to liquid ammonia, the energy density of hydrogen compressed to 700 bar is only about one fourth and requires large volume pressure vessels.

These disadvantages of hydrogen can be avoided if green hydrogen is bound to nitrogen immediately after it has been generated electrochemically in the well-known and established Haber-Bosch-Process. Here a liquid is produced directly and usable logistics already exist for transport, storage and transfer processes. The hydrogen bound in the ammonia can be made accessible on site by means of a so called Spaltgasreaktor (cracker gas reactor). Such a Spaltgasreaktor reverses the Haber-Bosch process and sets free the hydrogen again.

In the scope of the energy transition, a considerable energy gap is to be expected in Germany. The webinar discusses whether and how this gap can be partly compensated with imported ammonia as a CO2-free energy carrier and how Spaltgasreaktoren can be used as a key technology to utilize ammonia as an energy carrier. 

The webinar will be held in English language.

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