(588c) Solar Thermochemical Hydrolysis of Metal Nitrides for H2 Production and Integrated Storage In Form of Ammonia | AIChE

(588c) Solar Thermochemical Hydrolysis of Metal Nitrides for H2 Production and Integrated Storage In Form of Ammonia


Michalsky, R. - Presenter, Kansas State University
Pfromm, P. - Presenter, Kansas State University

Solar thermochemical hydrolysis of metal nitrides for
H2 production and integrated storage in form of ammonia

Michalsky and Peter H. Pfromm

 Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA


Conversion of
abundant but intermittent solar energy at high temperatures to high value
chemical energy stored in the products of a solar thermochemical reaction cycle,
such as H2 or syngas has been studied widely. Ammonia (NH3)
has been proposed more recently as hydrogen carrier for sustainable
transportation fuel. Easily liquefied and transported, NH3 exceeds
the H2 storage requirements of the Department of Energy. Modified
diesel engines can combust NH3 releasing mainly H2O and N2.
H2 can also be recovered catalytically on board a vehicle from NH3
for subsequent combustion.

thermochemical NH3 synthesis from steam and nitrogen produces a
sustainable solar fuel and avoids the storage problem for H2.
Production of metallic nitrides by reduction of their metal oxides is a high-temperature
and energy-intensive process that may take advantage of concentrated solar
radiation as inexpensive and sustainable source for process heat. This work
presents a solar thermochemical NH3 synthesis process sequence of
nitride hydrolysis splitting H2O and absorbing protons released in
the formation of NH3 at ambient pressure, and endothermic metal
oxide reduction and nitridation driven by concentrated solar energy.

A thermodynamic
rationale is presented. Various characteristic metals are selected and
experimentally explored studying yield and kinetics of breaking the N2
triple bond during nitridation and liberating NH3 when hydrolyzing
the nitride. Experimental data will focus transition metal interactions on N2
uptake from the gas phase and nitrogen distribution in the solid bulk material
studied using various solid-state analytical techniques. Protonation of the
nitrogen liberated during steam hydrolysis of various ionic, covalent,
intermediate and interstitial nitrides is examined establishing a mass balance
on the nitrogen atom. The yield of NH3 will be correlated with the
nitride ionicity and with the activation energy of nitride hydrolysis to thus
discuss the trade-off between desirable high yields of metal nitridation and
nitride hydrolysis on one side and undesirable strong bonds between the metallic
component and oxygen formed during hydrolysis.