Edit ModuleShow Tags

Scientists Produce Ammonia at Low Pressure


Published:

Scientists at Cornell University have succeeded in converting nitrogen into ammonia using a long-predicted process that has challenged scientists for decades. The new process is not likely, according to the research team, to displace the 90-year old Haber-Bosch process that is currently used to produce ammonia. The Haber-Bosch process is dependent upon high temperatures and pressures, while the new process uses a zirconium metal complex to add hydrogen atoms to the nitrogen molecule and convert it to ammonia, without the need for high temperatures or high pressure.

Paul Chirik, Cornell assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology and his two colleagues reported on the advance in a recent issue of the journal Nature (Vol. 427, Feb. 5, 2004). Chirik emphasizes that his group has succeeded only in producing ammonia in a laboratory setting, molecule by molecule, and is not making claims for an industrial process.

Chirik emphasized that "the chance that anyone will ever replace the Haber-Bosch process is very small." However, he believes his group's discovery could be useful in making "value-added nitrogen chemicals, such as hydrazines for rocket fuels or fine chemicals for drug synthesis or dyes.”

The title of the Nature article is "Hydrogenation and cleavage of dinitrogen to ammonia with a zirconium complex." The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Recent Articles

Ariel Compressors To Power Two Miami CNG Stations

Love’s Trillium CNG has received a 10-year, more than US$330 million contract to build two public-access compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations for the Miami-Dade Transit in southern Florida.

GMRC Call For Papers

FERC Approves Seven Projects Before No-Quorum Period

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) certified seven projects at the start of the month in anticipation of entering into a no-quorum period, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Syngas Technologies Conference: Call For Papers

Nyhamna Gas Facility Gets Approval For Expansion

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has approved the expansion of a gas plant in Nyhamna in Møre og Romsdal County, Norway.