College Park, Md. - Chunsheng Wang (PI), Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) at the University of Maryland (UMD) and Professor Reinhard Radermacher (Co-PI), Director of CEEE (the Center for Environmental Energy Engineering), have been awarded a grant from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E IDEAS (Innovative Development in Energy-Related Applied Science) program for their proposal entitled, “Electrochemical Compression for Ammonia Storage and Refrigeration System.”
Ammonia has been widely used as an environmentally friendly refrigerant in vapor compression refrigeration systems and is being explored as a carbon neutral fuel with high energy density. Huge amounts of ammonia are mechanically compressed with a low efficiency (~65%) for fuel storage and transportation, as well as food preservation and air conditioning, wasting energy. Drs. Wang and Radermacher’s project aims to increase the compression efficiency of ammonia by 30% without moving parts, lubrication oil and noise through electrochemical ammonia compression.
“Ammonia was never considered electrochemically compressible due to electrochemical decomposition," said Dr. Wang. "It is here proposed to electrochemically compress ammonia by revolutionarily using hydrogen as a carrier gas to avoid ammonia decomposition."
The technology has the potential of achieving isothermal compression with very high efficiencies, providing substantial energy savings for the compression processes.
“The electrochemical compression has the capacity to save about 9% of electricity consumed by commercial buildings and 81 million metric tons of the carbon emission could be eliminated,” Dr. Radermacher stated.
DOE’s IDEAS program identifies potentially disruptive concepts in energy-related technologies that challenge the status quo and represent a leap beyond today's technology. This is the 17th ARPA-E grant awarded to UMD researchers since the program’s inception in 2009 – more than any other U.S. academic institution.
The Maryland Energy Innovation Institute brings science, industry, government and economic leaders together to develop new energy technology and facilitate the transfer of knowledge and resources into marketable products and services through locally based entrepreneurial ventures.
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