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Achieving a fully renewable and clean energy landscape requires novel solutions for energy storage and recovery, in which hydrogen shows promising potential. Our group is particularly interested in the use of ammonia (NH3) as a carbon-free hydrogen carrier, to alleviate hydrogen’s costly storage and high flammability. Ammonia contains a high hydrogen content of 17.65 wt%, well above the US Department of Energy target of 5.5 wt.% gravimetric capacity for a feasible energy vector. 

Moreover, ammonia has an established distribution network and can be liquefied at far milder conditions than pure hydrogen. It can be synthesised from renewable sources by combining hydrogen from water splitting with nitrogen from the air, which makes it attractive for balancing seasonal energy demands through its intermittent renewable production. Alternatively, ammonia can be recovered from urea, in farms, municipal and industrial waste.

Our work involves the study and development of the whole ammonia sustainable energy cycle from its generation using renewable sources or waste to its distribution using existing infrastructure, storage, and the final delivery of energy.

We are developing novel catalysts for the low temperature synthesis and decomposition of ammonia by fundamental mechanistic understanding. We aim to replace the highly active state-of-the-art ruthenium catalysts by readily available metals or alloys. We are also investigating how to redefine the traditional Haber-Bosch ammonia synthesis process, as well as the recovery of ammonia and urea in waste streams with novel adsorption materials.