Some of the questions that we are frequently asked.
Why use ammonia for a vehicle fuel?
Ammonia is one of the few practical liquid high-energy density non-petroleum fuels that we will ever have.
The laws of physics and chemistry limit the ways in which we can transfer energy efficiently. Ammonia is one of the few chemical compounds which is a liquid, rapidly releases energy in combustion and has a high energy density by volume.
All of these parameters are needed for powering vehicles in a practical manner. And, as wonderful added bonus, ammonia generates no greenhouse gases or carbon particulate emissions.
Where do you get ammonia?
Ammonia occurs naturally only in very small amounts. Almost all ammonia is manufactured.
Most people are surprised to find out that ammonia is the 4th largest manufactured and transported commodity in the United States.
This is because ammonia is used for fertilizer for growing many of the foods here and around the world. Because so much ammonia is used by farmers everywhere, ammonia is available almost everywhere.
Once GreenGas machines are mass produced everyone can produce their own Green NH3 fuel at their home or business or farm to be used for fuel and fertilizer.
Ammonia is produced naturally in the human body. When you get that sudden sting or sharp burst to cry in the nose and eye area, that is ammonia.
Can ammonia be made from renewable or “green” energy sources?
Green NH3 generates ammonia using clean power sources, which is one of the huge benefits of ammonia as a fuel.
You can’t make crude oil or gasoline at any price. When it’s gone, it’s gone forever. But ammonia can be manufactured from any source of energy including great renewables like hydro-electric, solar or wind power.
Another benefit: manufacturing ammonia does not involve shifting vast quantities of land from producing food to producing plants for biofuels.
Is ammonia a liquid or a gas?
Ammonia is easily and indefinitely stored as a liquid at about 150 PSI , a very low pressure which doesn’t require special high pressure tanks like hydrogen, but quickly turns to a gas when exposed to air.
How does ammonia use compare to Hydrogen as a fuel?
While hydrogen has received a lot of press recently, it has several fundamental technical problems which will always dramatically limit its practical rollout for vehicular use on a broad scale.
These problems are not limited to the fact that hydrogen’s energy density is a tiny fraction of that of ammonia by volume. This means that you’d have to refuel your hydrogen vehicle as much as 7 times as often to go the same distance on hydrogen as you would using ammonia.
Hydrogen must also be stored at very high pressures (ie. 10,000 PSI), or at very low cryogenic temperatures. Both high pressure storage and cryogenic storage require significant additional power input, further reducing hydrogen’s energy efficiency.
In fact when we react ammonia, we’re actually using hydrogen, since that’s the element in ammonia that provides the energy.
How does ammonia use compare to natural gas?
Ammonia contains no carbon and releases no greenhouse gases, but natural gas does.
Although natural gas is somewhat cleaner than gasoline, its use still releases greenhouse gases in significant quantities.
One day natural gas will run out but ammonia can always be manufactured using a GreenGas synthesis machine.
What is needed to manufacture ammonia?
Ammonia can be made from air, water and a source of energy.
Nitrogen makes up almost 80% of the air around us, and is easily separated from oxygen and the other components of air. Hydrogen is separated from the oxygen with which it has combined to make water. The Nitrogen and hydrogen and combined to make ammonia. Using solar or other renewable energy source, the only by-product of ammonia production is oxygen.
What are the emissions from a converted ammonia fueled vehicle?
When it is burned, or reacted, ammonia produces nitrogen and water vapor. When ammonia is used in a dual fuel with gasoline or diesel fuel, the combustion of the gasoline or other hydrocarbon may still generate a small amount of CO and CO2, etc.
However, this emission is typically reduced by roughly 60 to 70%. If used in fuel cell the emissions drop to zero. All fuels and energy sources, including even charged batteries have some potential hazard associated with them. However, ammonia will not explode like gasoline, natural gas or hydrogen. In fact, it is difficult to get ammonia to burn, even though it makes an excellent fuel for cars and trucks.
Ammonia vehicle fueling and storage takes place safely without any human access to the ammonia liquid or gas, just like the fueling process for natural gas vehicles.
Also, ammonia does not represent a long term toxin to cellular biology, whereas gasoline is quite poisonous. Ammonia is classified as a caustic substance, which means inhaling it or getting it on your skin isn’t healthy, but overall it is far less dangerous than gasoline.
Since ammonia (NH3) fuel can be created close to the point of refill fewer large tankers or railcars of fuel need to be moved around cutting down on danger from accident and polution and fuel used in the transport.
How does an ammonia dual fueled vehicle work?
The simplest implementation of the dual fueled ammonia vehicle conversion is physically similar to a compressed natural gas vehicle conversion.
A new on-board tank holds liquid ammonia at only about 150 PSI.
Regulators, valves and an electronic control system meter the flow of ammonia to the engine as needed after the engine is started and warmed up on gasoline, ethanol etc.
A small amount of gasoline is used to idle the engine, then as the load is increased the additional energy is provided by adding ammonia.
This is all handled automatically by the engine control electronic module.
Can I buy a conversion kit for my private car today
No, not at this time. Conversion work is currently concentrated with fleet vehicles and other large market applications.
Although, with increasing gasoline prices, conversions for private vehicles are coming.
How much will private vehicle conversion cost?
Conversion of a vehicle to operate substantially on ammonia is similar to the process of converting a vehicle to operate on compressed natural gas or propane. The parts and labor are expected to be a couple of thousand dollars for private cars.
Of course if the vehicles were built to use ammonia (NH3) new at the factory (our ultimate goal) it would cost much less.
We have contacted all of the auto companies in the past few years but none have responded yet.
When is it cost effective to convert my car and operate on ammonia?energy sources?
Savings on conversion will depend on the prices of both gasoline and ammonia, respectively. During the NH3 car’s trip across America, gasoline was more than $2.25/gallon and ammonia was approximately $450/ton.
This scenario represented a significant cost savings over operating on straight gasoline. While gas prices have fluctuating wildly over the past few years, we can be sure that, in the future we can all expect increasing petroleum prices, particularly when carbon taxes increase and become more broadly accepted.
Can my converted car still be operated on just gasoline?
Yes, with the flip of a switch the vehicle can run on 100% gasoline as normal, which is something that is not possible with many natural gas vehicles.
How big is the ammonia tank?
Ammonia, when liquefied., contains roughly half of the energy of gasoline by volume. This means that an ammonia tank the size of your current gas tank will carry you more than 2/3rds of the distance of operating on gasoline alone, between fill ups when the contribution of the gasoline’s energy is considered.