Breakthrough in CO2-free production of ammonia

The production of ammonia, an essential chemical building block that is used in synthetic fertilisers, among other things, is one of the main sources of CO2 emissions. In the context of the Moonshot project P2C, researchers from KU Leuven and the University of Antwerp have now discovered an alternative, innovative and CO2-free production method.

The production of ammonia is associated with substantial CO2 emissions. In the chemical industry in Flanders, ammonia synthesis accounts for 15% of emissions. Ammonia production is mainly based on the Haber-Bosch process, employing a mixture of nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas, which is then converted into ammonia by means of high temperature and pressure. The use of natural gas, as a source for hydrogen gas, leads to CO2 emissions. Researchers have now developed an alternative method based on plasma technology.

“By combining plasma technology with concepts from the automotive industry, we can produce ammonia in a sustainable way. And the great thing is that the necessary raw materials, air and water, are available always and everywhere. In addition, for the production of the plasma, you can use renewable electricity from solar or wind energy.” – Johan Martens, KU Leuven.

You can read the full article about this innovative breaktrought via

The P2C project is a collaboration between KU Leuven, the University of Antwerp, Ghent University and VITO.