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Table 1 Comparison of the actual industrial production of ammonia versus the direct electrocatalytic route. Reproduced with permission from ref. [66]. Copyright Elsevier, 2018

From: Chemical engineering role in the use of renewable energy and alternative carbon sources in chemical production

Production Description Total C-footprinta
Actual industrial Multistep and high pressure/temperature process, starting from natural gas. Steps: purification, steam reforming, air reforming, shift converter, CO2 removal, methanation, compression/cooling, NH3 synthesis, cooling/decompression. Efficient only in large-scale (transport, impact). 1.83 tCO2/tNH3
Direct electro-catalytic One-single device (suited for distributed production). Start from N2, H2O and renewable energy, nearly room temperature and ambient pressure. 0.12 tCO2eq/tNH3 (93% reduction)
  1. afrom ref. [5]