Ammonia as a fuel checklist:
- Volatile - Check!
- Highly toxic - Check!
- Nauseating smell even in minute quantities - Check!
- Uses significantly more energy to produce than it releases when oxidized - Check!
- Cannot be mined - Check!
For those of you not familiar with ammonia synthesis, we make it by reacting nitrogen with hydrogen under high pressure and temperature. The predominant sources of hydrogen these days are natural gas and oil. So, why do we need to go trough all this trouble if we can burn the natural gas in the existing car engines? Have we really run out of stupid fuel sources so we have to consider ammonia?