Catalytic ammonia synthesis
Catalytic ammonia synthesis has played a historical role for both the development of chemical industry and technology and for heterogeneous catalysis. It is estimated that without ammonia produced by the industrial process, only ⅖ of the current global population could be nourished.
Despite the apparent simplicity of the ammonia synthesis reaction there are still unresolved and controversial issues to address. This is particularly interesting since catalytic ammonia synthesis for long has occupied a pivotal position in heterogeneous catalysis, and has been the cradle and testing ground of chemical concepts since the beginning of the 20th century.
For more than 60 years, Topsoe has conducted research to continuously improve the ammonia synthesis catalysts and the ammonia synthesis technology offered to industry. During recent years, we have been able to significantly improve our understanding of the ammonia synthesis reaction.
In particular, it has been possible to obtain atomic-scale insight into the structure of the active sites of ammonia synthesis catalysts. This was achieved through the combined use of new experimental techniques, new possibilities in computational catalysis, and improved kinetic modeling.
50% of the world's new ammonia plants use Topsoe technology