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New Vehicle Burns Ammonia! Emissions: N2 and H20

Right now, a uniquely modified pickup truck is making its way across the country from Detroit to San Francisco. The truck uses a special fuel, something widely available throughout the country, but until now, not really considered as an alternative fuel. The truck is carrying three tanks of ammonia in its bed. In addition to being an economical alternative to petroleum fuels, the ammonia fueled vehicle has much cleaner emissions and cheap tramadol online emits far fewer greenhouse gases.

The NH3car (NH3 is the chemical formula for ammonia) is a demonstration project of a University of Michigan graduate student in physics who is studying the use of order canada super viagra ammonia as an alternative fuel. The test vehicle can be run either on 100% gasoline or on an 80% ammonia / 20% gasoline mixture, and can be switched from one to the other at any time. According to a news story, the test vehicle gets 27 miles per gallon whether it is running on gasoline or the gas/ammonia mix. Whenever gasoline is higher that $2.10/gallon, it becomes more economical to use the fuel mix.

More importantly, however, the vehicle produces much cleaner emissions than a fossil fuel burning vehicle. Moving to an ammonia fuel system would drastically cut transportation CO2 emissions. Because there is no carbon in ammonia (molecularly, ammonia is one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms), there is no carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide in the emissions from the generic viagra canada ammonia combustion. According to the vehicle team, the only by-products are water vapor and nitrogen gas.

"On the basis of either weight or volume, ammonia's the next best thing when liquid petroleum fuels can't be used,'' said Grannell, a University of Michigan doctoral student of applied physics. "I believe this is the only economically viable ... replacement for liquid petroleum fuels, especially for transportation use."

Of course, there are drawbacks. Commercial ammonia needs to be manufactured. Unlike fossil fuels, it is not a resource that can simply be mined or pumped from the ground. And most commercial processes for manufacturing ammonia rely on natural gas as a feedstock.

But ammonia fueled transportation may be a viable possibility. The NH3car team has also stated that the conversion from gasoline to ammonia could cost consumers less than $1,000. An important question would be whether or not the price of ammonia would remain stable if it began to be widely used as a fuel, or if its price would rise to make it uneconomical to use. Distribution of course, being another factor.  Ammonia needs to be stored in pressurized tanks and at low temperatures in order to remain a liquid. Like liquid natural gas or hydrogen, a whole new range of storage and distribution equipment would be needed in order to have widespread use of ammonia as a fuel. But with all of the potential benefits it offers, it may yet be worth exploring.

via: Ann Arbor News

Cross-posted at Green Options.

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Comments (41)Add Comment
There's amonia in pee right?
written by Tarandon, August 08, 2007
So I could pee in the gastank and it will still run? Sweet!
written by Joe, August 08, 2007
This would be a great solution to a huge problem in Mi right now. British Petroleum is currently dumping amonia into our lake. Maybe if it's useful, it won't be seen as waste.
written by Michael Pereckas, August 09, 2007
Completely nonsensical. Ammonia is, of course, made from natural gas. If you want to burn natural gas, go ahead and burn natural gas. It is an excellent fuel. Converting it, with considerable energy use and professional cialis online expense, to a toxic (though somewhat easier to store) form for use as fuel is not sensible. Especially since natural gas is not especially abundant anymore in the first place.
written by Edward, August 09, 2007
While this is an interesting idea from the CO2 reduction perspective of professional cialis online global warming, it utterly neglects the fact that the combustion of ammonia will release some form of NOX gas, which is also a potent atmospheric contaminant that can lead to acid rain. An ammonia-based fuel will only change the contaminant entering the atomsphere... not eliminate contamination.
written by orig_club_soda, August 09, 2007
There are so many problems with this - prssurized storage, manufacturing, energy to create, technology to store. When these guys did a cost comparison did they compute it from beginning to end of the cycle of the fuel? If it isnt already more expensive than fossifils, we all know that any hint of demand will cause the buy xanax online cost per unit to skyrocket.
Anhydrous ammonia
written by Joel, August 09, 2007
Tarandon and Joe,

The flammable sort of ammonia is what's known as "anhydrous ammonia": it's a gas under normal conditions, and it's used in industrial refrigerators as a more-powerful, cheaper, but slighty more dangerous substitute for Freon.

There isn't ammonia in your urine unless you "let it mellow" a little, so that bacteria can ferment the urea into ammonium hydroxide. This hydroxide is the same stuff as the industrial waste BP is dumping, and that's in Windex. It takes some energy to separate this ion from the water, especially from a dilute solution such as stagnant eu de toilette or pre-algal-bloom lake water; probably much more energy than can be recovered by burning it.

One thing I will say about ammonia: if we decided to run vehicles by electrolyzing hydrogen, it makes sense to store that hydrogen as ammonia, especially since the extra N2 molecules from combustion will help engine efficiency if the engine is internal combustion or a solid oxide fuel cell/heat engine combination. Not that it makes any sense to store energy as hydrogen...
written by Joel, August 09, 2007
Come to think of it, has EcoGeek reported on SOFCs yet? You might talk to my professor from undergrad, Lutgard DeJonghe. He works at LBNL.
written by C, August 09, 2007
This will never be a commercial reality, while an interesting study for someone earning a few letters after their name. Anhydrous Ammonia is way too dangerous to work with. Even if if could be manufactured in a renewable fashion, you would have better luck getting people to put plutonium in their vehicles. Besides being heavily regulated due to it's ability to make explosives, I can't count he number of burn victims I've known over the years from this stuff. Many amputees and blind or dead farmers in my neck of the woods.
written by Blahh, August 09, 2007
This will just make the price of ammonium nitrate jump. That will in turn make farmers pay more to fertilize their crops. which will further up the price up meat since the cost of feed will double. Then everyone will be complaining that a burger from even McDonald's costs $10. This could end up causing more harm than good in the end.
Happy Ass
written by me, August 09, 2007
I personally like the picture of the smiling ass Ad to the right. nothing like having a happy ass.
written by yo Ima wigga, yo., August 09, 2007
True dat. Gotta love happy ass.
written by Wayne, August 09, 2007
Nitrous oxide emissions NOXXE from cars is created when air, containing nitrogen (N2) and oxygen, is raised to high temperatures; such as those in the combustion chamber of a car. Running a car with a leaner fuel mixture or advancing the timing to much is enough to create unacceptable emissions.

Ammonia is basically a nitrogen compound NH3, NH4 ... so if the fuel oxygen mixture is off it would be reasonable to assume you would either have NOX or unburned hydrogen compounds. Neither of which is good.

It is interesting research, ammonia is a compound that naturally forms when proteins break down. A lot of people who have fish tanks know about the stuff. So it may be able to be created from food waste. But I don't think it would be a good choice for autos, maybe generators that run at a constant load so the mixture does not need to keep changing because of heat and demand.
written by Dude., August 09, 2007
Just legalize hemp and allow distribution of biodiesel across the nation.
Keep hemp out of the arguement.
written by ack., August 10, 2007
Keep your own agenda out of this issue.

Hemp is one of the worst candidates for producing bio-diesel, and if you've even looked at the facts, you'd be well aware of that. The amount of oil produced by an acre of hemp pales to many other sources such as rapeseed or sunflower. I don't give a damn either way about legalizing industrial hemp, but it isn't viable for fuel production, and the fact that it's not legal isn't in the top 1000 reasons why bio-diesel isn't more prevalent.

Keep moving, send your pro-hemp comments to the paper industry, where it has a modicum of value.

Both hemp and ammonia are NOT the answer.
written by Chris Werner, August 10, 2007
Finally I see comments that say storing energy as hyrdorgen doesn't make sense. I see other responses talking about how hard distribution and packaging of ammonia would be.

Where were all you people when 'those in charge' decided that hyrdrogen and fuel cells were the wave of the future? I've read the government has spent 1.2 trillion (yes trillion) on fuel cell and hyrdrogen research. >:( You could use that to lower our gas prices or research electric cars, or built a maglev/bullet train infrastructure. But instead we spend our money on a stupid pipe dream and on the failing air line business.

I other news, I too like the happy ass ;D.
written by P Proefrock, August 10, 2007
Great comments here everyone.

I have similar concerns about NOX emissions from this system, and I'm sure there are other concerns to be looked at. There's a lot of development to be done before this stands a chance of seeing mainstream production.

We're going to see if we can get an interview with the guys behind this to answer some of your questions.
Absurd... but no concerns about NOx
written by Merlin, August 10, 2007
NOx is scrubbed from the atmosphere by ammonia in commercial power plants. NOx is not really a concern. What IS a concern, is that ammonia is toxic and will burn the shit out of your eyes in high vapor concentrations. A car crash would fuck people up for a huge radius around the crash site. BIG BIG BIG safety concerns. Bad idea.
Use of Ammonia even in Commercial refrig
written by David Rochlin, August 10, 2007
I use large commecial refrigerators, and my understanding is that Ammonia as a refrigerant is pretty much restricted to industrial/wholesale sectors. In my retail store, a large Ammonia system would put the public at risk. A leak inside a building is probably equivalent to a chemical weapons, leak. Furthermore, Ammonia is notoriously corrosive in refrigeration, applications, and the compressors and pipes that handle it, usually have to be stainless steel, or they won't contain it for long. Think about how robust a system would have to be, to withstand road vibrations, and not leak, not to mention that it would need to survive a collision, from time to time. It is national news, whenever an ammonia tanker car, tips over, somewhere, on railroad tracks...
Ammonia is a non-starter
written by Wood, August 10, 2007
Anhydrous ammonia is not a "more powerful" refrigerant. It is marginally more efficient than CFC and HCFC based refrigerants and, pound for pound, is significantly cheaper. It is, however, pretty dangerous stuff. Even small leaks can be lethal, which is the main reason why ammonia isn't used more widely in HVAC, despite the buy viagra soft tabs economic benefits. Most ammonia-based refrigeration is found in industry on large scale: think commercial ice plants and cold storage warehouses.

This will never fly.
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Water Vapor Emmissions
written by Kyle, August 10, 2007
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't water vapor the strongest greenhouse gas? As I understand it, the effect of one molecule of water vapor traps like 16,000 times as much heat as a molecule of carbon dioxide? This might turn out to be a decent alternative to gasoline economically, but it doesn't look like it's a decent alternative environmentally.
NOX removal by NH3
written by Edward, August 13, 2007
Correct me if I'm wrong, but NOX removal by NH3 involves the buy levitra online australia mixing of NH3 with the NOX post-fuel combustion, correct? If so, your argument is specious. Apples and oranges. Combustion of NH3 directly could potentially increase the amount of NOX released by an engine under non-optimal conditions. Granted, this system could be carefully tooled so that all non-combusted NH3 reacts with the NOX produced to minimize the actual NOX (and uncombusted NH3) released; however, this would take some serious fine tuning, and if the system went out of whack it could lead to some very serious chemical contamination.
Dead in the water
written by Nari, August 13, 2007
"And most commercial processes for manufacturing ammonia rely on natural gas as a feedstock."

It's Peak Gas we need to worry about, not Peak Oil --
written by Jaime, August 20, 2007
when people are exited about alternative energy sources for automotive use, I sometimes smile..
for instance the all to popular "hibrid electric" cars......OK plug it might save the consumer on the price of gasoine, but is is twice as costly for the earth!
does any one think about or even know energy conversion ratios?
On the VERY best day, a natural gas fired plant will convert only 48% of the usable energy in the natural gas in to USABLE energy on the electric grid. :(
written by Tory, August 22, 2007
FYI...the bloggers are doing a pretty good job of bringing out the pros and recommended site cheap cialis canada cons of NH3 as a transportation fuel. There was one fact missed with regards to NH3 as a refrigerant...on a BTU per pound basis NH3 is 466 btu/lb vs 68 btu/lb for the HCFC alternate. That's a lot less pounds of refrigerant (1/7) to make the system cool.
written by Burnerjack, September 04, 2007
Electrical generation through Concentrated Thermal Solar is by far the most viable nontransportation energy source when looked at all manner of cost/environmental impact. The technology is here now as is the distribution infrastructure. Batteries WILL be developed to apply this answer to transportation as a matter of profit and public will. Investment in this scenario will not only prove PROFITABLE and moral, it will also hasten its eventual mainsteam use. According to the status quo, THIS is the inconvienient truth. Everything else is just a diversion like a shiny object.
Ammonia production
written by Griff, October 17, 2007
I must confess that I don not completely understand the canadian pharmacy viagra cheap safety aspects of ammonia. On the other hand, there are huge amounts of natural gas available in the middle east, and the only viable proposal up to now for transporting it is LNG, which has huge problems of cost and safety. Might not conversion of the natural gas to ammonia, and then shipping to our shores possibly make sense?
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were fucked eather way... so we might as well....
written by female cum drinker, November 05, 2007
i agree... were fucked eather way...
fuck the world, fuck the government
superb advancment
written by hira, December 05, 2007
i am the student of chemical engineering and searching for alternatives i come across the article i read the whole article i think it is a good advancment in the discovery of new alternatives of petroleum as a fuel and the main thing which attract me is that by product are only the water vapours and the nitrogen gas but don't you think that it will cause a imbalance in the production of ammonia as the fertilizer and its uses and follow link rx online viagra what will be cost of it .
written by hira, December 05, 2007
will you tell me the safety point of view of the ammonia is it safe to use?
just asking
written by fox, February 17, 2008
What happens if ammonia based water such as BPs waste going in the lake is electrolized? Making Hydroxie is not that difficult and adding more hydrogen from the ammonia just increases the gases.I'm not interested in the alternative fuel for cars conversation.Would this concept require more amps?and would that remove any gains for electrical out put?
written by Don, April 25, 2008
Many years ago I worked on a project that used nuclear power to produce liquid ammonia for fueling cars, trucks and planes. This concept used electricity from the powerplant to produce nitrogen from air, hydrogen from sea water (electrolyis), and liquid ammonia from the combination of the two. The process uses materials that occur abundantly in nature,is technically feasible, frees vichles from hydrocarbon usage (e.g., oil), reduces our dependency on foreign oil and is eco-friendly (production and combustion). The project was discontinued because gasoline/diesel fuels were cheaper than the ammonia fuel that was produced at that time. I wonder if it's time to revisit this concept.
At Last...
written by Tykeboy, July 11, 2008
At last someone has got to the nub of Ammonia as a transport fuel. The use of non-hydrocarbon sourced energy is critical to this as a "zero carbon" fuel alternative. Clearly converting fossil fuel methane is not sustainable and represents little benefit to the world.

The infrastructure for the production and handling of Ammonia exists. Improvements are required, yes, but the basics exist. NOx emissions can also be sorted out, as they are in modern diesel exhausts. Hydrogen is not a realistic alternative if only due to its specific energy deficiency. I really hope that this technology gets the same level of investment mentioned above (i.e. trillions).
Great News
written by Jatin, August 02, 2008
This concept will surely work. It is only people who do not know Ammonia well enough say it cannot work. Anyone who wants to Commercialise this concept can contact us. If anyone has anymore such uses of Ammonia, please write to us.
NH3 from seawater
written by carlos, August 16, 2008
Matt Simmons is championing wind power in Maine, to produce electricity, electrolysis to make the NH3, and fuel cars. We already use LPG- which requires special tanks, etc- and it works!!
We have a liquid fuel problem in that we are running out of oil production capacity (Not oil per se), and have th fuel infrastructure there.
This can work.

written by robert, May 10, 2009
I loved what Don was saying about using nuclear power to produce ammonia as a liquid fuel. I wish it had not been discontinued. it sounds so innovative
Don't buy the FUD
written by youcandoit, June 10, 2009
Okay, so NH3 is nasty stuff as a gas. That does not mean it can't be used as a fuel safely. If you are like me and the environmental impact of your life is a major priority for you (way up there with $ and other highly addictive substances), then I think the most promising option is the use of NH3 in a kind of dual-fuel-cell ... two fuel cells in one: the first cell electrolyzes the NH3 (in a solution with KOH) to produce N2 and H2, the H2 is bubbled over into the second cell where it is recombined with O2 from the atmosphere in the familiar H2/O2 fuel-cell way (N2 exhausted harmlessly). And to those of you who are thinking "but that must lose energy because you are electrolyzing and then recombining something", this is incorrect, there is excess energy available (you don't end up with the same molecules you started with, as in electrolysis+recombination of H20 which of course loses energy), and a fraction of the power from the H2/O2 fuel cell can be used to sustain the electrolysis of the NH3. A battery could start the fast order cialis reaction.

One great thing about this approach as opposed to using NH3 to fuel your ICE is that there is no NOX emmission. It would also make for a very quiet and viagra 100mg pills very efficient car.

On the danger of liquid, pressurized NH3 in your fuel cells, how about this: the cells come only in a handful of standard sizes, and you don't refuel them yourselves, you just trade it in at a station where a pro handles it. This is not prohibitive at all (think about this: in some states you can't even pump gas yourself due to the non-negligible probability that you are careless enough to blow yourself up by forgetting not to light your doobie while fueling). With pros handling the cells the risk would be minimal, and the cells could be made strong enough to survive even the roughest accidents without releasing their nasty chemicals (of which the nastiest would be the KOH electrolyte and not the NH3 which is lighter than air, harmless in low concentration, and will quickly mix with the water in the atmosphere to form a pretty much harmless substance which occurs naturally in windex and fermented urine ... some of you may disagree that windex is a natural occurrence ... I admit it requires that you take a long view ;)

This really is viable stuff, don't forget that some of the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt) you hear is propaganda (sometimes second or third hand, echoed by useful idiots) from those who don't want ppl to realize that this might be an economically viable alternative to fossil fuel in the near future. Don't underestimate that phenomenon. Even right now, it could be reasonable for a person like me, to whom a bit of extra $ spent might be a fine trade-off for a quiet car that doesn't pollute. I am working with a friend on making a micro solar-thermal plant + electrolysis + haber-bosch + fuel cell prototype ... the whole shebang on a small scale. Then we will scale it up. If the energy came from good old fashioned free sunlight, it is clearly an economically viable fuel. The real problem that we need to overcome is that we don't each have small renewable power sources at home ... another subject which suffers from FUD propaganda convincing huge numbers of people that it is less economically feasible than it really is. In a lot of places you can build a junk windmill yourself in 10 hours for $300 and get 500 watts out of it ... which at 2 cents per kwh would pay for itself in 15000 hours of wind which might take 3 years or so. And 2c/kwh is fairly cheap electricity.

Cheers to all, keep up the good thinking.
Pressurization is nothing
written by Eli, October 22, 2009
CNG tanks operate at 3600 psi on vehicles. There would be no need to keep NH3 at those pressures. The risk associated with pressurizing the fuel would be very minor.
alternative energy sources for automotive use and auto insurance
written by R. Williams, March 12, 2014
"written by Jaime, August 20, 2007
when people are exited about alternative energy sources for automotive use, I sometimes smile.. "

Well, electric automobiles are really a doubtful thing, I would say. From one point of view they should be cheaper to ensure. But as I learned so far, this seems to be a myth too:

The insurance companies will not give you better speeds simply as you are driving a hybrid vehicle (unless they feature special price reductions for this particular sort of automobiles). Each automobile version is taken into the premiums and also valuation an automobile owner is billed with depend in the promises history through distinct coverage domain name. For instance, the well-known Toyota Prius has the levitra info subsequent evaluations around most automobile insurance providers:

- Injury Thieving Index. In this class the Prius additionally gets a "D".
- Obligation Evaluation Index. With wishes to third party obligation, the Prius scores having an increased "B", which displays in lower than-average premiums.

The most popular hybrid vehicle version does not execute any better in relation to the bulk of other, as you see automobiles, and there are various normal drive automobiles which have better scores than this hybrid vehicle What this implies is because there is no unique gain from having a hybrid drive in the event that you are searching for lower auto insurance rates e.g. on, until you locate a company that gives unique reductions for hybrid drives.

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