Developing ammonia decomposition catalysts on porous carbon monoliths

September 27th, 2023

R&D Focus Areas:
Ammonia, Technology integration process improvement

Lead Organisation:

Not Applicable


Start date:
December 2022

Completion date:
December 2023

Key contacts:
Alex Ilyushechkin:
San Shwe Hla:
Liezl Schoeman:


Project total cost:
FSP: AUD$91,000 РCSIRO Energy-in kind: $73,000, CSIRO Minerals-in kind: AUD$18,000

Project summary description:
CSIRO Energy has developed metal membrane hydrogen separation technology which is currently applied for hydrogen separation from nitrogen and ammonia consequent to catalytic ammonia cracking. Previous experience in testing of ammonia cracking /hydrogen separation rig demonstrates the importance of robust, stable catalysts able to stably operate at the conditions compatible with the operation of membrane reactor. These include temperature/pressure/atmosphere while being compatible with the reactor materials.

Commercially, catalysts for lower temperature ammonia cracking contain noble metals such as Pt, Pd, Ru, and Rh and these are incorporated into porous alumina or silica supports. They exhibit high catalytic activity and low activation energy; however, their high costs and low availability limit their use in commercial applications to a great extent.

In the present project, the carbon monoliths produced by the CSIRO Mineral Resources team will be used as a matrix (support) structure to enhance the performance of ammonia cracking catalyst at least by one of the following improvements:

  • Increase catalytic activity of loaded catalyst by optimising catalyst distribution on the monolith, and developing processes for effectively activating the catalyst.
  • Reduce operating temperature for particularly low-cost catalysts.
  • Minimise catalyst degradation and increase catalyst lifetime.
  • Reduce the noble metal catalyst loading (mg/kg hydrogen produced by cracking).

Related publications and key links:
Not Applicable

Higher degree studies supported:
Not Applicable


September 2023