At the heart of CAMPFIRE energy technologies are electroceramic membranes with perovskite structures, which are thinner than a millionth of a metre and can be manufactured in a process that is cost-effective and resource efficient. Perovskites provide significant benefits thanks to their high-temperature electrolyte materials, mechanical load-bearing capacity, physical-chemical properties and temperature resistance and are able to conduct oxygen ions, protons and electrons.
In the future, conventional international methods for ammonia synthesis, which are based on fossil fuels, will be replaced and decentralised. This will make direct ammonia production from renewable sources economically feasible on an industrial scale. The CAMPFIRE project is developing innovative energy technologies with high process efficiency and low costs for ammonia synthesis from renewable energy sources. Mixed-conducting oxygen separation membranes can be used to provide nitrogen from ambient air, which is available everywhere. Green ammonia can be produced efficiently in a decentralised manner using a micro-Haber-Bosch process in the presence of high-volume flows from wind or solar power. Proton-conducting membranes enable an efficient solid-state ammonia synthesis process (SSAS) for the formation of ammonia from nitrogen and water vapour. In the future, SSAS will be a cost-effective and energy-efficient alternative to the Haber-Bosch process.
Green ammonia makes it possible to decarbonise maritime shipping. At normal temperatures, it can be liquified at a pressure as low as 8 bar (-33°C at normal pressure), which allows for easy storage and transport. Ammonia contains approximately 17% of hydrogen and has an energy content comparable to that of methanol. Our approach is two-fold: to use ammonia directly or partially converted to hydrogen in combustion engines and gas turbines, and to directly convert ammonia or hydrogen into electricity in a fuel cell for marine shipping. When conventional NOX emission control appliances such as SCR are used, the end products are only water and hydrogen, which can be returned to the air safely.