Cost and Performance Targets for Fully Electrochemical Ammonia Production under Flexible Operation

Nikifar Lazouski, Aditya Limaye, Abhishek Bose, Michal L. Gala, Karthish Manthiram, Dharik S. Mallapragada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methods to produce ammonia from air, water, and renewable electricity are necessary to transition ammonia production away from the CO2-emitting Haber-Bosch process. In this vein, a fully electric process in which water-splitting-derived hydrogen and air-separation-derived nitrogen are reacted in an electrochemical process to produce ammonia is attractive. Herein, we evaluated the cost-effectiveness of large-scale fully electric ammonia production relying on renewable electricity sources in conjunction with different types of storage and flexible operation using a mixed-integer linear programming framework. We found that ammonia can be produced in an economically competitive manner, i.e., at costs < 1 $/kg, at large scales if the electrochemical reactor can produce ammonia at partial currents exceeding 400 mA cm-2, energy efficiencies exceeding 30%, and process lifetimes of several years. In light of this, alternative chemistries that can reduce nitrogen at high rates and moderate (<2.5 V) overpotentials are necessary for economical, fully electrochemical ammonia production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2627-2633
Number of pages7
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 12 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry


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