Ammonia is an excellent energy store. As a new global energy vector, ammonia makes a completely carbon-free energy economy possible and will revolutionise maritime mobility. 

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

Along a roadmap deve­loped in the CAMPFIRE concept, cost-opti­mised produc­tion methods for the basic inno­va­tions are being deve­loped as a prere­qui­site for the market estab­lish­ment of tech­no­lo­gies for the future global green ammonia ecosystem. These include elec­tro­cer­amic thin films and cata­lysts, reac­tors and synthesis plants for the seasonal produc­tion of ammonia, ammonia crackers in hybri­di­sa­tion with gas engines and fuel cells for emis­sion-free propul­sion in ship­ping and for statio­nary power generation.

Further­more, CAMPFIRE is deve­lo­ping ammonia refu­el­ling systems, shore-side and sea-side safety systems inclu­ding sensor tech­no­logy for the appli­ca­tion of ammonia drives on board yachts, inland vessels and seagoing vessels. Accom­panying this, the legal frame­work for the appli­ca­tion of the new tech­no­lo­gies is being consi­dered and further deve­loped, and concepts for public and customer accep­t­ance of ammonia as an energy source are being developed.

Logistics and infra­st­ruc­ture concepts are being deve­loped for the distri­bu­tion of green ammonia from imports and regional “green ammonia farming”. Stan­dar­di­sa­tion, stan­dar­di­sa­tion and certi­fi­ca­tion as well as the deve­lo­p­ment of concepts for the trai­ning of experts form a further focus.

In order to imple­ment the objec­tives, the CAMPFIRE alli­ance combines natural‑, engi­nee­ring, ‑legal‑, economic and climate policy compe­tences and carries out the project deve­lo­p­ment by means of an agile open inno­va­tion management.

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