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.

Stationary energy

Infrastructure and logistic 

Legal framework and acceptance 

CAMPFIRE Open Innovation Lab