Lines of investigation
MIGA is conceptualized into five interdisciplinary and interrelated research areas:
1. Electrochemical production of NH3
We seek to prepare by chemical and electrochemical means of electrocatalysts the electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to obtain ammonia. In addition, we want to understand their properties by means of theoretical calculations (DFT) to understand the electronic properties that drive the electrocatalytic property, together with designing spectro-electrochemical experiments in conjunction with Raman spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy to understand the reaction mechanisms and propose improvements to the systems obtained.
2. Production of H2 from NH3 electrolysis:
We focus on the electrocatalytic oxidation of ammonia to obtain nitrogen and hydrogen for use in PEM fuel cells, to obtain nitrates and other nitrogenous compounds of interest as fertilizers, and in nitrogenous compounds sensors.
3. Design and prototypes of NH3 fuel cells and components
In this line of research we focus on the study of three multidisciplinary research areas:
I. The direct use of ammonia in SOFC-type high-temperature fuel cells for electric power production.
II. SOFC stack generation, which must have temperature, humidity, pressure and gas flow controls, as well as systems for monitoring electrical, physicochemical and mechanical variables in adverse environments marked by high temperature and corrosion.
III. To study the effects on the lifetime of PEM fuel cells of the presence of small parts of ammonia in their spent hydrogen. This will ensure the safe use of ammonia in both static and mobile applications.
4. Corrosion and wear process
The activities of this research line focus on the characterization of the properties of the materials studied in lines 1, 2 and 3 from the technological point of view. In particular, for the materials with the greatest potential, a comprehensive analysis will be carried out to estimate the costs of large-scale implementation, including long-term projection.
5. Green ammonia economy.
We seek to measure the impact of hydrogen and ammonia in productive sectors and also to analyze the regulations and incentives to promote the use of both elements in the national and global economy. On the other hand, we analyze the Chilean regulation and the existing gaps for the massive development of the hydrogen and ammonia industry in the local economy, as well as some generalizations at a global level.