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Ammonia: 'the clean renewable fuel for the future?' Bryan Furnass

A promising alternative to fossil fuels lies in anhydrous ammonia (NH3)
When May 07, 2015
from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
Where ANU’s Frank Fenner Building corner of Daley Road and Linnaeus Way
Contact Name
Attendees All welcome
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Almost all climate scientists are convinced that the main cause of global heating and climate disruption is the prodigious combustion of hydrocarbons over the past century, with anthropogenic pollution with greenhouse gases causing grave threats to biodiversity, food security and population health. Local particulate emissions also pose a risk to cardiorespiratory health, particularly in the crowded cities of developing countries. 

The ANU and the ACT government are at the helm for research and development of renewable energy to replace fossil fuels and mitigate climate change (www.desertec.com). Fossil fuelled transport remains a problem. A promising alternative lies in anhydrous ammonia (NH3), which can now be synthesised locally from air, water and renewable energy, using concentrated solar or wind power. It can be used to power internal combustion engines and steam-driven turbines for base load electricity generation in remote areas (www.greennh3.com.) Ammonia has about 2/3 of the energy density of diesel, can be safely transported and stored at 150psi and ambient temperature, with virtually zero greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen and (re-cyclable) water as combustion products. Its application in remote areas both in Australia and developing countries, as well as for transport, could make a contribution to a new low-hydrocarbon industrial revolution.

For those of you who don't know Bryan:

Bryan Furnass studied physiology and medicine at Oxford University and the Middlesex Hospital, London, where he conducted research on respiratory metabolism in obesity, gaining an Oxford Doctorate of Medicine. He emigrated to Australia in 1960 and settled in Canberra in 1961 as a consultant physician in general medicine. In 1966 he was appointed Foundation Director of the ANU Health Service, focusing on preventive medicine and health promotion, for which he was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia (AM). After retirement from clinical work, Bryan extended his interests to the health of the planet, specifically to health impacts of climate change.