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Plasma Reactors for Efficient Fertilizer Production Applied in a Real Environment (PREPARE). (PREPARE)

My project aims to demonstrate the proof of concept of new plasma reactors for sustainable and energy-efficient NOx production from air, as basis for green fertilizer production. Plasma is created by applying electricity, it is quickly switched on/off and has no economy of scale, so it is ideal in combination with renewable (intermittent) electricity, and thus, of interest for electrification of fertilizer production. This project originates from my ERC SyG, where we obtained record values in plasma-based NOx production and energy cost (EC). Now it is time to bring this into real application through optimization of the reactor design and its performance. We will build three different plasma reactor designs, based on innovative computer model predictions, and test the optimal matching to the power supply for maximum efficiency. We will also test the effect of quenching, heat recovery, pre-heating, gas recirculation and sorption materials, to further improve the performance in terms of NOx yields and EC. Subsequently, we will test the reactors in real world context, i.e., air with varying humidity and exploring the reactor robustness for both continuous long-term and intermittent operation. In the last two months, we plan demos for interested stakeholders, serving as real-life market analysis. Finally, we will perform a SWOT analysis, comparing the three reactors in terms of overall performance in real world context, to decide which reactor will be selected for up-scaling and potential commercialization. PREPARE aims to drive innovation for the application of HNO3 and NH4NO3 production, that is now mainly relying on non-sustainable resources. In addition, it can provide a solution to curb NH3 emissions from livestock and poultry farming, by letting the plasma-produced NOx react with the emitted NH3 to form NH4NO3. Hence, PREPARE provides an innovative route for greening up (1) the chemical/fertilizer-production industry and (2) the livestock and poultry farming sector.
Date:1 Nov 2022 →  Today
Disciplines:Chemistry of plasmas, General chemical and biochemical engineering not elsewhere classified, Air pollution and control, Sustainable agriculture