Georgia Tech Inventors from the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have developed a process in which mechanical energy is used to carry out nitrogen fixation. In this process, a catalyst, such as titanium oxide, is ground in a ball mill in the presence of nitrogen and hydrogen. The reaction occurs without external heating at ambient pressure, with the only energy input being from mechanical forces. The end products of the reaction are ammonia and components for fertilizers.
- Simple and cost-effective – process does not require external heating or elevated pressure
- Not limited by scale – the innovative procedure allow for any size scale process, including small scale production that could be deployed in remote areas
- Fertilizer production
- Ammonia supply for industrial uses
- Chemical supply
Nitrogen fixation is a process by which nitrogen gas is converted into ammonia. Current industrial methods involve the Haber-Bosch process, which require high temperatures (400-450 °C), high pressures (200 atm) and large reactors. Because of this, more sustainable and energy efficient processes for nitrogen fixation are desired in industry.