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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 07:26 PM

2. I've gone around in a few places on this ammonia as a fuel proposal.

It will, of course, work, if - a huge caveat - ammonia can be made by climate change gas free means.

This said, I am strongly opposed to the idea of ammonia as a fuel, because the environmental and safety issues associated with distributed use of ammonia are too dire.

As is the case with dangerous natural gas - which is by the way the chief starting material for ammonia synthesis right now - it is inevitable that some will escape, or leak catastrophically in some places.

We need ammonia for food, but current demand is on the order of a few hundred million tons. The environmental fate of ammonia includes the microbial generation of nitrous oxide, which is currently a major contributor to ozone depletion. Concentrations are rising, and it's expected to displace residual CFC's as the primary ozone depleting agent this century. Other elements of the environmental fate include nitrates, nitric acid, and other nitrogen oxides. Ammonia and ammonium salts are already responsible for the destruction of major bodies of water through eutrophication. Of course an ammonia leak in an ammonia fueled automotive accident could kill or at least blind anyone near it.

I shudder to think what would be involved in billions of tons of ammonia as a fuel.

If we must store hydrogen as a small simple molecule, DME, dimethyl ether is vastly superior to ammonia, and in fact, any other molecule I can imagine. It's a wonder fuel, and it's insane that we are not well on the way to phasing it in.. It has a high critical temperature and is easily liquified, burns cleanly lacking a carbon-carbon bond and has an atmospheric half life of about 5 days. With simple modifications it works in diesel engines, can displace so called "natural" gas in all applications, as well as LPG. It is an excellent refrigerant, albeit a flammable one. It is non-toxic (except for a mild anesthetic effect) and it can be made by direct hydrogenation of carbon dioxide.

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NNadir Nov 2017 OP
eppur_se_muova Nov 2017 #1
LineLineNew Reply I've gone around in a few places on this ammonia as a fuel proposal.
NNadir Nov 2017 #2
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