Nitrogen and Ammonia: From the Industrial Revolution to a Future Nitrogen Economy

In this Sustainable Energy Seminar, Dr. John Berry, Professor of Chemistry, will discuss the historical importance of ammonia in agriculture and its future potential as a zero-carbon fuel source.

Abstract: The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) saw over 140 countries pledge to reach zero-carbon emissions, prompting an important question of how the global energy economy can realistically be decarbonized. The alternative to a carbon-based energy economy is an economy centered around a different element. Research in the Berry Lab at the University of Wisconsin – Madison Department of Chemistry is exploring the possibility of a Nitrogen Economy, based on interconversions between dinitrogen and ammonia. This presentation will review the basic chemistry of nitrogen and ammonia from a historical standpoint, focusing on the use of ammonia in agriculture, and also as a promising zero-carbon fuel. A look toward future applications will be presented outlining the key technologies necessary to sustain a zero-carbon Nitrogen Economy.


This event is offered both in-person at the Wisconsin Energy Institute and online through Zoom Webinar. If attending online, registration is required. Click here to register for this and all other webinars as part of the Sustainable Energy Seminar series in Fall 2022.

1115 Wisconsin Energy Institute (and Online)
1552 University Ave
Madison, WI 53726