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Solid State Ammonia Synthesis

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  • George M Coladonato
      It is NOT organic farming but does ddress many other issues . Please post your opinion. ... It is NOT organic farming but does ddress many other issues .
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 6, 2012
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      It is NOT organic farming but does ddress many other issues . Please post your opinion.
      Be well
      Solid State Ammonia Synthesis (SSAS) Pilot Plant Demonstration System for Renewable Energy (RE) Firming Storage,
      Transmission, and Export Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc.
      Page 1 of 5
      Solid State Ammonia Synthesis (SSAS) Pilot Plant Demonstration System
      for Renewable Energy (RE) Firming Storage, Transmission, and Export
      Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc.
      William C. Leighty
      Box 20993, Juneau, AK 99802
      cell 206-719-5554
      Alaska Business License # 126487
      Partners: NHThree LLC, Richland, WA
      Dr. John H. Holbrook, CEO
      1161 Viewmoor Ct., Richland, WA 99352
      john.holbrook@... 509-396-2082
      University of Alaska Southeast (UAS)
      Richard A. (Rick) Caulfield, PhD
      Provost & Dean of Graduate Studies and Research
      11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801
      racaulfield@... 907-796-6486
      Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P)
      Scott Willis, VP
      5601 Tonsgard Court, Juneau, AK 99801
      Scott.Willis@... 907-463-6396
      Alaska Power and Telephone Company (APT)
      Bob Grimm, CEO
      P.O. Box 3222, Port Townsend, WA 98368
      Physical Address: 193 Otto Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368
      bob.g@... 360.385.1733
      Principal contractor candidate: NHThree LLC
      Total project cost: EETF grant $ 750,000
      Applicant match, cash and in-kind $ 250,000
      Total $ 1,000,000
      Previous applications:
      2011 EETF
      2009 Denali Commission Application, Emerging Energy Technology Grant
      Applicant: Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc. (AASI)
      Title: Solid State Ammonia Synthesis (SSAS) Pilot Plant for RE Firming Storage
      Project number: apparently none assigned; not funded
      Solid State Ammonia Synthesis (SSAS) Pilot Plant Demonstration System for Renewable Energy (RE) Firming Storage,
      Transmission, and Export Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc.
      Page 2 of 5
      Project Summary:
      Renewable energy (RE) transmission and storage: this project will “test an emerging energy
      technology”, advancing solid state ammonia synthesis (SSAS) from patented laboratory device to a proof-ofconcept,
      pre-commercialization, pilot plant demonstration system, for stranded RE: TRL 3-4 to TRL 5-6. This
      project satisfies the four criteria in 4.3 Prioritization.
      Fig 1. This system, after acceptance testing at contractor, candidate patent holder NHThree LLC, will be
      shipped to Juneau and at least one other Alaska location to test and verify performance, durability, and
      compatibility. Goal is demonstrating potential scaleup to achieve $200K per metric ton (Mt) anhydrous ammonia
      3) per day capital cost, 7.5 kWh / kg conversion (75% efficiency (HHV)), with low non-energy O&M cost,
      whereby RE can be stored as liquid NH
      3 , a carbon-free hydrogen-based fuel, at both small and large scale, in
      common, propane-grade steel tanks at 10 bar. Deployment of SSAS energy conversion, storage, transmission, and
      end-use systems throughout Alaska allow:
      1. Significant year-round energy independence for isolated communities with abundant RE;
      2. Annual-scale firming of energy seasonally-variable RE resources (including Susitna);
      3. Supplying RE-source NH
      3 fuel for land and water surface transportation in Alaska;
      4. Intra-Alaska transmission of RE-source energy without building new electricity transmission;
      5. Export of Alaska’s diverse, large-scale, stranded RE as liquid NH
      3 via tankers to world markets.
      JEDC’s (Juneau Economic Develop Council) Southeast Cluster Initiative embraces all these features. The draft
      SE IRP declares the SE electricity intertie system uneconomic, increasing our incentive to find alternative(s) for
      gathering, transmission, firming storage of SE AK’s diverse, stranded, RE resources.
      As fossil fuels become more costly and restricted in supply, and as rapid climate change proceeds, Alaska could
      (a) operate its internal energy economy entirely on affordable, firm, dispatchable, indigenous, RE, nearly free of
      greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and (b) export surplus, stranded RE as carbon-free NH
      3 fuel. These two
      desirable strategies are not likely via electricity systems.
      Air Separation
      Unit (ASU)
      240 vac
      O2 to air or market
      Produce NH
      Consume electricity
      Consume NH
      Produce electricity
      Community grid;
      3 NH3
      P, T
      P, T
      P, T
      Flow Water
      Rev: 6 Mar 11 W. Leighty
      Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc.
      SSAS Pilot Plant Demonstration
      System for AEA EETF Grant
      25 - 50 sensors, transducers
      ICE Genset
      RPM T
      Liquid level
      SCADA system
      Figure 1. Proposed SSAS proof-of-concept pilot plant demonstration system: complete, instrumented, selfcontained,
      transportable. Closed-loop capable. NH3 synthesis, storage, and regeneration.
      This project is a complete, proof-of-concept, demonstration pilot plant, a self-contained, transportable, SSAS NH
      synthesis, storage, and regeneration system, of 1 - 5 kWe input, which may be connected to an electricity grid or
      to a variety of RE generation devices to demonstrate the closed-loop operation needed for “energy island”
      communities. System energy conversion efficiency, durability, and other performance measures will allow
      scaling estimates for Alaska-wide and world-wide SSAS technical usefulness and profitability. Liquid NH
      energy storage is at much lower capital cost than hydrogen or any competing form of electricity storage.
      Solid State Ammonia Synthesis (SSAS) Pilot Plant Demonstration System for Renewable Energy (RE) Firming Storage,
      Transmission, and Export Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc.
      Page 3 of 5
      2 in
      3 out
      2O in
      RE electricity in
      Figure 2. SSAS reactor [Fig. 4] construction of PCC tubes: gas management, RE electricity in, NH3 out
      Inside the Black Box:
      HB Plus Electrolysis
      3 H
      2O 3 H2 + 3/2 O2
      3 H
      2 + N2 2 NH3
      Energy consumption ~12,000 kWh per ton NH
      Inside the Black Box:
      Solid State Ammonia Synthesis
      6 H
      2O + 2 N2 3 O2 + 4 NH3
      2 O2
      Energy consumption 7,000 – 8,000 kWh per ton NH
      Figure 3. Haber-Bosch NH
      3 synthesis from RE Figure 4. SSAS requires no electrolyzer
      Technology readiness:
      SSAS was demonstrated in proton conducting ceramic (PCC) devices at Howard
      University and at Colorado School of Mines (CSM) in 2007-9: TRL 3-4. US Patent application was filed 10 Feb
      07; US Patent 7,811,442 was granted 12 Oct 10, assigned to NHThree LLC (Richland, WA). Now SSAS needs to
      be demonstrated in a scale-model reactor composed of 20 – 100 PCC tubes, with gas management, packaging,
      and electric interface that will be necessary for commercial-scale (10 – 1,000 kW modules, scalable to any size)
      SSAS systems. Satisfactory performance and durability testing on the first reactor advances SSAS to proof-ofconcept
      TRL 5-6. Goal is demonstrating potential scaleup to achieve $200K per metric ton (Mt) anhydrous
      ammonia (NH
      3) per day capital cost, 7.5 kWh / kg conversion (75% efficiency (HHV)). Packaging the reactor in a
      complete SSAS energy conversion, storage, and electricity regeneration system (ICE genset is available),
      deployed at Alaska sites, will achieve TRL 6. No SSAS work has yet been done in Alaska. Some engineering,
      systems integration, and manufacturing could be done in Alaska.
      Commercial production of SSAS components and systems will depend primarily on market acceptance of REsource
      NH3 fuel. Production of current-carrying PCC tubes for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is well-established;
      proton-conducting PCC tubes for SSAS are similar. The power electronics industry is mature. NH
      3 - fueled ICE
      Solid State Ammonia Synthesis (SSAS) Pilot Plant Demonstration System for Renewable Energy (RE) Firming Storage,
      Transmission, and Export Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc.
      Page 4 of 5
      gensets and direct-ammonia fuel cells have been demonstrated. New engineering, but no new fundamental science,
      is needed. Thus, commercial availability in a limited size range (kWe input; kg to Mt NH
      3 per day output), within
      2-3 years, with adequate market pull, is feasible and likely. See Ref 1: nascent ammonia as fuel.
      Technology Validation and Research Methodology:
      The SSAS demonstration pilot plant demonstration
      system will be fully instrumented with a SCADA system, by which the performance of every system component
      will be tracked over time, by which data energy conversion efficiency and component durability will be measured.
      Capital cost estimates will not be accurate at this small reactor scale, with PCC tubes made by hand, and with
      low-power electronics reactor interface.
      Project Schedule:
      Reporting for all project phases will be monthly, driven by milestones which represent
      potential go / no-go decisions. Duration of the Alaska deployment and demonstration phase will depend on pilot
      plant longevity, communities’ desire to host it, and funds available for its relocation, probably over a 1-2 year
      period. SCADA data collection and monthly O&M reports will continue at each deployment. The initial Juneau
      deployment(s) would probably be 1-3 months.
      Site Suitability:
      Design, fabrication, and acceptance testing of the pilot plant demonstration system will be by
      our sole-source contractor, probably NHThree LLC, at facilities and subcontractors of their choice, principally or
      entirely in the Lower 48. Our contract, with NHThree LLC or other, will include any necessary “site control”
      features. The Alaska deployments will be temporary, for which permits will probably not be needed. First test and
      demo site will be at the AASI facility in Juneau; if successful, we will attempt subsequent Juneau deployments at
      one or more of: UAS Tech Center; AEL&P; IPEC; USCG 17
      th District HQ. We would obtain “site control”
      agreements as required, for each deployment beyond AASI. We were invited to site an identical system at the
      UAS Tech Center, as we proposed for the Denali Commission Emerging Energy Technology Grant program
      in ’09. Juneau’s utility, AEL&P, had agreed to assist in the closed loop operation mode. We would refresh those
      agreements for this project. We have made no site control arrangements for subsequent Alaska deployments; we
      could do so.
      SSAS system nameplate rating would be 1-5 kWe input, single-phase; 3-15 kg NH
      3 per day; 50 gallon NH3
      storage. Juneau’s AEL&P grid provides RE input. The USCG has installed a 3.5 kW wind generator at the Juneau
      Station dock, to which we could offer connecting the SSAS system for a high-impedance, unregulated source
      input test. We would hire a Juneau-resident electronic controls contractor to help with SCADA design and
      operation contingencies not embraced in system design and acceptance testing.
      Budget and Project Finance:
      Over 90% of project cash funding from all sources will flow to AASI’s prime
      contractor for design, fabrication, and testing of the SSAS pilot plant demonstration system. AASI will provide
      project management and electrical interface design assistance as in-kind contribution. The contractor will provide
      both in-kind and cash from their investors, as specified on Grant Budget Form. EETF funding may attract other
      investor funding to enhance the scope and success of this project, during its term. NHThree LLC is the leading
      contractor candidate and approves this budget and plan.
      See 1-5 in Technical Synopsis, above. Converting Alaska’s diverse stranded RE, at village to global
      export scales, to liquid NH
      3 fuel, could at once solve the transmission, annual-scale firming storage, and supply
      integration problems of these abundant energy resources, which typically suffer time-varying output at scales of
      seconds to seasons. AVEC, IPEC, and other community utilities could install SSAS systems, fed by new RE
      generation assets appropriate for the community RE resources, with common steel tanks capable of storing
      enough liquid NH
      3 fuel for a large fraction of, or all of, the community’s annual internal energy consumption.
      Very large steel tanks in the Corn Belt now store the chemical energy in liquid NH
      3 for ~ $0.10 / kWh capital
      cost; Alaska community-size might cost ten times as much – still far below the cost of batteries, CAES, or other
      electricity storage schemes. Thus, RE-source NH
      3 fuel is a valuable transmission and firming storage medium and
      strategy for AK.
      Extant diesel gensets can be modified to run on NH
      3 fuel or a diesel-NH3 fuel blend. Or, the gensets can be
      replaced with new ones optimized for NH
      3 fuel or blends. In CHP service, both gensets and direct-ammonia fuel
      cells offer high total energy recovery from NH
      3 fuel. Emissions from both are C-free, primarily N2 and H2O. The
      Solid State Ammonia Synthesis (SSAS) Pilot Plant Demonstration System for Renewable Energy (RE) Firming Storage,
      Transmission, and Export Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc.
      Page 5 of 5
      SSAS synthesis plant is theoretically ~80% efficient (HHV), but low capacity factor (CF) when driven by most
      RE generators represents a significant stranded capital asset.
      Transmission and storage of Southeast Alaska’s stranded hydro, tidal, and wave energy may be economically
      superior to exporting the energy via new electricity line(s) to BC, Canada. (Ref. 4)
      The Railbelt needs to secure its total energy needs, not just electricity, from RE. The seasonally-variable output
      of large RE projects such as Susitna can be economically stored as NH
      3 fuel for an annually-firm supply of
      transportation, space-heating, and CHP fuel, pipelined underground to city-gate markets for distribution. NH
      3 fuel
      is probably economically superior to gaseous hydrogen (GH2) fuel for Alaska’s internal and export markets,
      because of NH
      3 fuel’s higher energy density by volume, with consequent lower transmission, delivery, and energy
      storage costs, without hydrogen corrosion danger.
      3 fuel will not replace the electricity grid, but could account for most of new RE transmission and energy
      storage capacity, statewide. Most Alaska communities, large and small, could benefit from SSAS transmission
      and storage systems, if this project demonstrates technical and economic feasibility for likely commercial scaleup.
      Alaska’s pioneering may spawn new local industries, as in a SE cluster.
      Hydrogen (H
      2) and anhydrous ammonia (NH3) are the only practical carbon-free fuels. See Ref 1-3. NH3 is both
      an N-fertilizer and a C-free fuel. It is the second-highest-volume industrial chemical in global trade; over 98% is
      made from coal and stranded natural gas via Haber-Bosch (HB) synthesis, with 1.8 Mt of CO
      2 waste released to
      Earth’s atmosphere per Mt NH
      3 produced. SSAS should be able to to synthesize NH3 from electricity, water, and
      atmospheric N more efficiently, at lower capital cost, than via the only available alternative, electrolysis + HB.
      Figs 3 - 4. RE-source electricity will produce C-emission-free NH
      3. Future C-taxes will improve competitiveness
      of Alaska’s RE-source “green” NH
      3 on world N-fertilizer and nascent NH3 fuel markets. The internal combustion
      engine (ICE), combustion turbine, and direct ammonia fuel cell operate efficiently on NH
      3 fuel. 5
      The unpriced benefits to Alaskans, and beyond, are reducing GHG emissions to prevent a fraction of future
      rapid global climate change plus energy security via firm, indigenous, RE resources. SSAS technology success in
      this project can be commercialized within 5 years, given an NH3 fuel market.
      Project Team Capabilities:
      William C. Leighty, BS Electrical Engineering ’66, MBA ‘71, Stanford. Principal, Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc.
      Co-author of 20 papers on alternatives to electricity for transmission and firming storage for diverse, stranded,
      renewable energy resources.
      Nota bene: The Leighty Foundation (TLF) has no connection to this application for
      funding; the References and above website are for technical insight only.
      Dr. John H. Holbrook, BS, MS, PhD Materials Science, University of Cincinnati, Stanford. 30 years at Sandia,
      Battelle Columbus, and Pacific Northwest National Labs. Executive Director, Ammonia Fuel Network. Principal,

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