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A first commercial step towards on-site ammonia production

By Chemical Engineering |

A new company — Tsubame BHB Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; www.tsubame-bhb.co.jp) — has been established to commercialize the world’s first on-site production of ammonia for supplying amino-acid synthesis, fermentation materials and fertilizers. The company — a joint venture of Ajinomoto Co., Inc., No. 1 UMI Limited Partnership (both Tokyo) and professor Hideo Hosono at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TiTech; Yokohhama) — began operations last April, and aims to implement first NH3 production by 2021. The production process will be based on a new catalyst that was developed in the laboratories of professor Hosono. The ruthenium-loaded electride — 12CaO.7Al2O3 (C12A7) — was found to be an order of magnitude more efficient than conventional Ru-based catalysts for ammonia production (for more details, see Chem. Eng., December 2012, p. 12; www.chemengonline.com/a-highly-active-catalyst-for-making-nh3). The development is expected to enable NH3 production at much milder conditions than the conventional Haber-Bosch process, thereby lowering costs. Ajinomoto, a producer of amino acids (including glutamic acid) and fermentation materials, has been involved in the joint-development in order to be able to supply its NH3 feedstock…
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