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Profs. Hosono (Tokyo Institute of Technology) found that highly active and stable ammonia synthesis catalyst under low temperatures and low pressure.


Prof. Hosono at the Tokyo Institute of Technology applied “Electrides” that use a component found in low-cost alumina cement as a raw material and which are stable even in the air at room temperature as a catalyst for ammonia synthesis, and discovered that highly efficient ammonia synthesis is possible even under low-temperature, low-pressure conditions. Using these Electrides as catalysts to synthesize ammonia under low-temperature, low-pressure reaction conditions makes it possible to produce ammonia even at small-scale plants, where production was considered difficult in the past.

The Haber-Bosch process, which has been used up to now for the synthesis of ammonia, requires high-temperature, high-pressure reaction conditions, so concentrated, high-volume production must be undertaken at a single large-scale plant that consumes huge volumes of energy, and which entails substantial capital investments. The practical application of the ammonia synthesis technologies being targeted for R&D at UMI, which adopt Electrides as catalysts, is expected to form the foundation of a model for the world’s first on-site ammonia production, through which ammonia can be produced where it is needed, and in the volumes required.