Ammonia is an excellent energy carrier. As a new global energy vector, ammonia will fuel the transition to a carbon-free energy economy and revolutionise maritime mobility. 

With novel electroceramic thin films are integrated into energy systems, resource-saving energy conversion processes for ammonia become feasible and economical.

In accordance with the roadmap deve­loped by CAMPFIRE, cost-opti­mised produc­tion methods for the basic inno­va­tions are curr­ently under deve­lo­p­ment – a precon­di­tion for intro­du­cing tech­no­lo­gies to the market for the global ‘green ammonia ecosystem’ of the future. These inno­va­tive tech­no­lo­gies include elec­tro­cer­amic thin films and cata­lysts, reac­tors and synthesis plants for the seasonal produc­tion of ammonia, ammonia crackers for hybri­di­sa­tion with gas engines, and fuel cells for statio­nary power genera­tion and emis­sion-free propul­sion in shipping.

CAMPFIRE is also deve­lo­ping ammonia refu­el­ling systems and shore­side and seaside safety systems, inclu­ding sensor tech­no­logy for the appli­ca­tion of ammonia drives on board yachts, inland vessels and seagoing vessels. As part of its work on this topic, the consor­tium is exami­ning and elabo­ra­ting the exis­ting legal frame­work for the imple­men­ta­tion of the new tech­no­lo­gies, and approa­ches are being deve­loped to increase public and customer accep­t­ance of ammonia as an energy source.

Logistics and infra­st­ruc­ture concepts are being deve­loped to faci­li­tate the distri­bu­tion of green ammonia from imports and regional ‘green ammonia farming’. Stan­dar­di­sa­tion, norming and certi­fi­ca­tion, and approa­ches to train experts are also a focus .

In order to imple­ment the objec­tives, the CAMPFIRE alli­ance combines exper­tise in natural, engi­nee­ring, legal, economic and climate policy, and takes an agile open inno­va­tion manage­ment approach to project development.

Thin films

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.

Depo­si­tion process used to manu­fac­ture indus­trial elec­tro­cer­amic thin-film membranes.

Green ammonia

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.

Proton-conduc­ting membranes for the direct synthesis of ammonia from atmo­s­pheric nitrogen and water vapour (SSAS).

Marine propulsion

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.

Wind and water to ammonia – marine fuel and energy storage for a zero-emis­sion future.

Infrastructure and logistic 

Legal framework and acceptance 

Stationary energy

CAMPFIRE Open Innovation Lab