Cars powered by electric batteries are inevitable. But what about ships and planes? Are you talking about hydrogen? It's possible.

There is a chemical that is abundant in your pee.

What is ammonia, and why use it to power vehicles? 

Ammonia is a mixture of hydrogen and nitrogen. It has a high energy density and rapid release of energy.

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Environmental advantages are also present. Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other greenhouse pollutants cannot be released when ammonia is burnt.

How does ammonia stack up compared to other energy sources?

Ammonia has higher energy densities than electric batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. Heavy-duty ground and air transport are constrained by weight and volume.

Compared with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, ammonia-powered vehicles are lighter and less likely to have problems with disposal.

Ammonia has been used for over a century.

Ammonia is an optimal fuel for long-haul trucking, locomotives, aviation, and shipping because of the infrastructure already in place.

Hang on, ammonia, aren’t you talking about pee? 

urine can be turned into ammonia which can be used to make energy. It has been academic up until now.

The research showed how to make hydrogen from urine at a much cheaper cost than from water.

The Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) was developed by researchers at the University of West England.

The cells are now used to power home appliances.

The US Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground is looking at ways to use urine to power devices in remote locations, as well as large-scale fuel cells to power vehicles and even entire bases.

If you want to learn more about citizen science, you can watch videos on how to turn urine into garden fertilization.

We haven't seen full adoption of ammonia in energy production.

Why haven’t we seen wider adoption of ammonia? 

There is a lack of technology that can efficiently extract ammonia in a constrained space.

It's viability is being reinforced in larger-scale capabilities.

Research and industry are making ammonia power a reality 

A golf cart powered by ammonia fuel cells. Credit: Hong Kong Polytechnik University

The world's first ammonia-powered fuel cell electric vehicle was developed by the University of Technology and Oxford University.

Hhe process of converting ammonia to electrical power. 

Ammonia is kept in a cylinder. The catalyst developed by the University of Oxford breaks it down into nitrogen and hydrogen.

Electricity is generated by the hydrogen to propel the vehicle.

The researchers are working on an ammonia-powered vehicle.

Industry players are also high on ammonium

MAN Energy Solutions is working on a fuel-flexible, two-stroke ammonia engine that will be delivered in 2024.

Amogy was established in the US in 2020. The company is a leader in ammonia power solutions. The reactor cracks ammonia and uses the hydrogen to generate power.

Anogy powers a John Deere tractor with ammonia.

An Amogy reactor powered a tractor with ammonia. A hybrid fuel cell system with a standard liquid-storage tank and ammonia-cracking modules provided power for several hours.

Amogy raised $46 million in new funds to bring its funding to $68 million. The systems will be applied to an 18-wheeler and a ship. This is a big deal to get a substance from outside the lab into something.

Mass commercial adoption is still a long way off. Our efforts to advance less underrepresented forms of alternative energy seem to be in a good place right now.

It isn't like we'll run out of urine soon.