Advanced materials and Reactors for ENergy storage tHrough Ammonia
The ARENHA consortium provides breakthrough technologies for the power-to-ammonia-to-usage value chain. Ammonia is an excellent energy carrier due to its high energy density, carbon-free composition, industrial know-how and relative ease of storage. ARENHA will demonstrate the feasibility of ammonia as a dispatchable form of large-scale energy storage, enabling the integration of renewable electricity in Europe and creating global green energy corridors for Europe energy import diversification.
Produced the right way, hydrogen can be a clean alternative to fossil fuels. The age-old electrolysis method, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen by passing electricity through it, is one of the most promising procedures to achieve this. Alkaline electrolysis is an efficient alternative to other commercial electrolysis methods as it uses no noble metals on catalysts and bipolar plates. However, the lack of an efficient thin ion-exchange conducting membrane results in the build-up of high internal resistance. To address this, the EU-funded NEXTAEC project is developing an ion-solvating membrane that is non-porous and can therefore be as thin as an ion-exchange membrane. The absence of noble metals will enable the technology to be applied in the multi-gigawatt scale – a prerequisite for its commercial roll-out.
The need for decarbonization is a pressing issue both at social and political levels. The production of high value chemicals and fuels such as methanol requires hydrogen, which is nowadays derived from hydrocarbons and results in large emissions of CO2.
Green hydrogen produced by water electrolysis, coupled to renewable sources, could be the ultimate solution to this problem. Proton exchange membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE) is the most suitable technology for this process due to its compactness and flexibility.
However, the dependence on precious metal catalysts and expensive components manufactured in titanium poses a serious threat for the scale up and market penetration of this technology. PROMET-H2 aims to develop a pressurized PEMWE with the lowest capital cost ever achieved, without compromising performance or durability.
The BReCycle project aims to develop a new approach that ensures a high degree of recovery of the raw materials used and is superior in terms of environmental compatibility (especially energy balance) and economic efficiency. At the same time, aspects of product design (Design for Recycling and Design for Circularity) are to be investigated and implemented in order to increase the recyclability of fuel cells and to promote the use of secondary materials in the sense of resource protection and to develop new business models on this basis.
DARE2X gathers expert European partners to disrupt the ammonia (NH3) production landscape by enabling sorption-enhanced plasma-catalytic NH3 synthesis. Ammonia is the second most produced primary chemical in the world and its centralised production is called the Haber-Bosch process, which is based on the transformation of natural gas (fossil fuel) at high pressure and temperature. Replacing the Haber-Bosh process with a sustainable alternative for the production of NH3, will contribute to decarbonising the European industry, helping the European Union’s goal of a competitive economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.