With continuous population growth and an increasing need for agricultural resources worldwide, the demand for fertilizer also continues to increase. However, the mass production of commercially-made fertilizers, such as ammonia, also leads to the shooting up of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.
In a bid to create environment-friendly ammonia production, researchers from the North Carolina State University in the United States are building gas-liquid scrubbing reactors capable of isolating specific gasses. What’s special about this is its air filter is made up of textiles.
Called Biocatalyst Interactions with Gases, the project’s principal investigator Dr. Sonja Salmon shared that the primary goal of their project is to utilize the capability of nitrogenase enzymes to naturally convert nitrogen to ammonia.
The textiles inside the reactor tube will serve as structural catalysts, helping nitrogen to convert to ammonia.
According to Salmon, while the team is still in the exploratory stage, this is already a welcome development since the current commercial fertilizer-production processes account for 450 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.