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RTI International wins grant from ARPA-E for renewable energy technology

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has awarded RTI International a grant to develop an ammonia synthesis system to support renewable energy.

Ammonia has the potential to be used as a carbon-neutral fuel. It can also be used to store energy from renewable sources.

Using the $3.1 million grant, RTI's Energy Technology Division will build an innovative ammonia synthesis system that can operate at lower temperatures and pressures than established technologies. The team will use a breakthrough catalyst to improve on the traditional Haber-Bosch catalysts currently in use.

If successful, the system will be economically viable and able to start and stop in synchronization with intermittent renewable power sources.

ARPA-E’s Renewable Energy to Fuels through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids program, known as REFUEL, seeks to develop scalable technologies for converting electrical energy from renewable resources into energy-dense carbon-neutral liquid fuels and back into electricity or hydrogen on demand.

“We are excited to partner with ARPA-E in this initiative, which is aimed at accelerating the shift to domestically-produced transportation fuels,” said Raghubir Gupta, Ph.D., senior vice president of the Energy Technology Division at RTI. “REFUEL will also help enable greater integration of renewable energy sources onto the grid, improving grid resiliency and American energy security by using a carbon-free fuel.”