Work package 5

Hydrogen & green e- for N-based chemistry

The production and use of ammonia and ammonia derivatives is associated with high energy consumption and high CO2 emissions. This work package focuses on solutions to this major challenge.

Goal & Activities

Nitrogen is one of the most important elements in living cells and many natural compounds. The synthesis of nitrogen-containing (bioactive) compounds for the production of fertilizers and sustainable plastics is enormously important in modern society. Many of the synthetic routes to nitrogen-containing molecules use ammonia (NH3) as a feedstock. However, the production and use of ammonia and its derivatives involve high energy consumption and large CO2 emissions. Grey hydrogen production for ammonia production consumes 1.5% of total global energy demand and contributes up to 7% of the Netherlands’ CO2 emissions. This program line focuses on solutions to this major challenge.

The technology development subprogram of this programline focuses on reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions by exploring the feasibility of different integrated production routes to low emission hydrogen and ammonia. The part focused on the fundamental development of new nitrogen chemistry aims to provide innovative plug-in technology and is mainly focused on the use of ammonia as an energy carrier and for sustainable synthesis of nitrogen-containing molecules.


  • Scope:

This work package focuses on the management of:

Development of integrated processes for key nitrogen-based platform chemicals (NH3, ureum) from hydrogen

Fundamental development of new nitrogen chemistry

  • Activities include:

Development of:

gas purification technologies for using biomass for ammonia production, mild Haber Bosch process with in-situ ammonia recovery, high temperature co-electrolysis for the integrated production of ammonia

NH3/ureum dehydrogenation catalysts and catalysts for direct ammonia fuel cells with NH3 as the energy carrier, efficient catalyst with NOx as alternative oxidant, sustainable alternative methods for the synthesis of N-containing molecules

When the package starts and is opened, you will find more information on the NWO website.