Plasma-catalytic bubbles for sustainable ammonia

April 13th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:

Lead Organisation:
The University of Sydney

Not Applicable


Start date:
March 2022

Completion date:
February 2025

Key contacts:
PJ Cullen:

Australian Research Council: AUD$462,539

Project total cost:
AUD$462,539 cash contribution

Project summary description:
Ammonia is one of the world’s most important chemicals directly sustaining over 50% of our food supply. But the current means of its production is responsible for over 1% of global CO2 emissions, a similar value to global air travel. This project aims to produce ammonia from renewable sources of water, electricity and air, which can provide farmers with a zero-carbon fertiliser under a decentralised and even farm-level approach. Moreover, if driven by renewables, ammonia offers an effective means of exporting hydrogen from Australia. Hydrogen has been highlighted by the federal government as a priority technology in its Technology Investment Roadmap with ammonia seen as a key approach for its exportation.

Related publications and key links:

  • Sustainable ammonia synthesis from nitrogen and water by one‐step plasma catalysis. 2022. Tianqi Zhang, Renwu Zhou, Shuai Zhang, Rusen Zhou, Jia Ding, Fengwang Li, Jungmi Hong, Liguang Dou, Tao Shao, Anthony B Murphy, Kostya Ostrikov, Patrick J Cullen. Journal Energy & Environmental Materials, 6, 2, e12344.
  • Green chemical pathway of plasma synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen and water: a comparative kinetic study with a N2/H2 system. 2022. Jungmi Hong, Tianqi Zhang, Renwu Zhou, Liguang Dou, Shuai Zhang, Rusen Zhou, Bryony Ashford, Tao Shao, Anthony B. Murphy, Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov and Patrick J. Cullen.  Green Chem., 2022,24, 7458-7468.

 Higher degree studies supported:
This project supports one PhD student.


Reviewed: May 2024