Axetris supports research for ammonia drives


Kägiswil OW – Axetris’ gas detection laser modules are currently being used in research projects testing the use of green ammonia as a fuel. It burns CO2-free and could play an important role in the mobility revolution. Unburned, however, it causes particulate matter.

In the future, Axetris ‘ measurement technology could enable propulsion systems that run on ammonia. Such systems can be installed in existing cars, for example. This would likely significantly accelerate the shift to zero- or low-carbon fuel alternatives, whether for cars or cargo ships. Compared to hydrogen, and thus hydrogen propulsion, the advantage, according to a report by Axetris, is that transporting and storing ammonia is much easier. In addition, the energy density is higher.

The South Korean project AmVeh, for example, is conducting research on such propulsion systems with ammonia, using laser gas detection (LGD) modules from Axetris. AmVeh develops car engines that use ammonia as a direct fuel. The combustion process must be closely controlled because unburned ammonia in the air is considered one of the main sources of particulate matter. This would have a significant impact on air quality, especially in urban areas.

This is where the LDGs from the Kägiswil-based manufacturer of components and modules for gas detection, gas flow and gas control come into play. “We can selectively and very sensitively measure ammonia in hydrogen and at high humidity,” explains Axetris global sales manager Martin Endras. Axetris modules are used in the AmVeh project in the gas analysis system of the South Korean Kinsco Technology. They work with diode laser absorption spectroscopy.

AmVeh’s prototype vehicle uses a fuel ratio of 70 percent ammonia to 30 percent gasoline to power a gasoline engine. Since ammonia contains no carbon, this fuel ratio results in a corresponding 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with pure gasoline. Such drives can be installed in existing vehicles. Following further optimization of the fuel system and exhaust gas treatment, the project team is now working on a system that runs exclusively on ammonia with the help of Axetris-LGD. Water and nitrogen would be the only end products of this combustion. mm