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Heraeus gets behind sustainable Japanese ammonia developer

Tsubame decentralised ammonia manufacturing

Ammonia manufacturing process

22nd February 2024

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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German technology group Heraeus has invested in a Japan-based startup called Tsubame BHB, which has been developing an efficient technology for decentralised ammonia production.

Ammonia is an essential raw material for the chemical industry, and forms a building block for fertilisers, organic intermediates, plastics and synthetic fibres.

Additionally, ammonia is also being positioned as an energy carrier for hydrogen.

Tsubame’s technology complements Heraeus’ portfolio of sustainable precious metal-based technologies and supports its effort to lead the development of sustainable technologies globally.

“The technology helps to strengthen our position in a market that is increasingly focused on energy efficiency and decarbonisation,” adds Heraeus hydrogen systems VP Dr Phillip Walter.

At its founding in April 2017, Tsubame set out to implement the world’s first on-site ammonia synthesis system. Currently, ammonia is produced using a 100-year-old technology that requires high temperature, high pressure and large plants.

In contrast, Tsubame is developing a technology for producing ammonia at low temperatures and with low pressure, making production more efficient and competitively priced. It also enables production in small, decentralised facilities.

The company is working to design a model plant for the mass production of ammonia.

Moreover, Japan often innovates in the area of advanced materials and Heraeus sees great potential to collaborate with more Japanese companies, universities and research institutes.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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