Agriculture is vital in the life cycle of human beings, without it there would be no food, but until now an industrial method has been used based on nitrogenous and inorganic fertilizers dependent on fossil fuels that have turned soils into poison for the planet and the food for humans.

Source : Global Carbon Farming Program, BASF Agricultural Solutions, 2 December 2021

The fertilizer industry involves an ammonia production process that has been commonly used since the green revolution until today, known as the Haber-Bosh method, which consists on a direct reaction between nitrogen and gaseous hydrogen (gray hydrogen) in ammonia synthesis plants operating at a pressure of 300 atm and a temperature between 400 and 600 C, a process that requires high energy consumption from sources that use fossil fuels. The fertilizers produced must be transported over long distances to reach the farmers, the traditional form of transport being by land or air via freight, trucks or even airplanes, all of which are dependent on oil, being in the first place in Co2 emissions.

If the current objective is to avoid a climate disaster, the industrial process must change from grey to green, hydrogen and green ammonia being the key to achieve this transformation. Last June 2021, in the middle of the pandemic, scientists from Monash University made a majestic discovery: a method that uses a process similar to the electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen and makes it possible to produce ammonia from renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power, at room temperature and with high and practical efficiencies in small reactors that can even be implemented at the level of farms and local communities.

Farmers could nowadays benefit from this achievement since they could use carbon-free fertilizers, leaving behind the conventional methods of industrial agriculture used until today and that have only been responsible for profoundly damaging the ecosystem and the health of human beings and the planet, thus transforming the current consumption based on gray matter-based, into a green and environmentally conscious consumption.


Sources : 

  • science.abg2371

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