A joint research group of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the Renewable Energy Research Center, and Tohoku University has succeeded in generating electricity using a gas turbine that uses ammonia as fuel.Ammonia is a substance with a high hydrogen content, and it has been attracting attention that it may be used as a fuel for power generation.
2015 is also called the "first year of hydrogen" and is expected to accelerate the transition to a society that uses hydrogen energy.Stable production and safe storage are indispensable for the realization of a hydrogen-based society.However, since hydrogen gas contains a large amount of energy, it easily explodes, and it is a high-risk substance to store as it is.Therefore, there is a need for a substance that is safer and can freely extract hydrogen, and ammonia, which consists of three hydrogen atoms and one nitrogen atom, is attracting attention as a candidate.

In this research, we first showed that stable power generation can be achieved even if methane gas and ammonia, which are the fuels for conventional thermal power generation, are mixed at a ratio of 2: 5.Furthermore, it was found that it is possible to generate electricity with only ammonia, although the combustion efficiency is poor.These test results mean that it is possible to gradually replace natural gas such as methane with ammonia in conventional thermal power plants.In addition, combustion of ammonia does not emit greenhouse gases, and new pollutants can be removed with existing technology, which has the advantage of cleaning exhaust gas.

Although there are still issues with power generation using only ammonia, we are aiming to realize an efficient power generation method using only ammonia in the future.Many people may have the image that ammonia is odorous in junior high school science experiments, but it is playing an active role as one of the possibilities for confronting energy problems.

Source:[National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology] Succeeded in gas turbine power generation with methane-ammonia mixed gas and 100% ammonia respectively

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