Inspired by a vision for a future economy powered by carbon neutral ammonia, new start-up Jupiter Ionics Pty Ltd is the latest company to emerge from a growing stream of enterprises aligned with Monash University’s Technology Precinct.
For over a century, ammonia has been produced industrially using the Haber-Bosch process, which contributes heavily to global carbon emissions.
Scientists at Monash University recently found a more environmentally friendly way, with technology that uses an electrochemical process to produce ammonia by reducing nitrogen extracted from the air and combining it with hydrogen extracted from water, with power provided by renewable electricity.
Jupiter Ionics Pty Ltd has successfully secured an exclusive licence to develop the patented technology first invented by Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor, Doug Macfarlane and Dr Alexandr Simonov from Monash University’s School of Chemistry.
It also recently closed a seed round of financing of $2.5 million to support the development of this world-leading electrochemical technology for the production of green ammonia.
The funds will be used to transition the technology from the lab to a commercially scalable device that can service a range of end users.
Ammonia is an essential ingredient in the global food system through its role in fertiliser production, but current technology typically produces around two tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of ammonia produced.
“Jupiter Ionics Pty Ltd’s technology, exclusively licenced from Monash University, uses renewable electricity, air and water as inputs to make ammonia with zero carbon emissions,” according to the start-up’s CEO, Dr Charlie Day.
The current global market for ammonia is worth around $US70 billion, but proposed new uses for green ammonia as a shipping fuel and a form of energy storage will extend the market even further.
“This investment will enable us to fast track our development program so we are well-positioned to meet the burgeoning demand,” Dr Day said.