Progress and Prospective of Nitrogen-Based Alternative Fuels

Chem Rev. 2020 Jun 24;120(12):5352-5436. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.9b00538. Epub 2020 Jun 5.


Alternative fuels are essential to enable the transition to a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy supply. Synthetic fuels derived from renewable energies can act as energy storage media, thus mitigating the effects of fossil fuels on environment and health. Their economic viability, environmental impact, and compatibility with current infrastructure and technologies are fuel and power source specific. Nitrogen-based fuels pose one possible synthetic fuel pathway. In this review, we discuss the progress and current research on utilization of nitrogen-based fuels in power applications, covering the complete fuel cycle. We cover the production, distribution, and storage of nitrogen-based fuels. We assess much of the existing literature on the reactions involved in the ammonia to nitrogen atom pathway in nitrogen-based fuel combustion. Furthermore, we discuss nitrogen-based fuel applications ranging from combustion engines to gas turbines, as well as their exploitation by suggested end-uses. Thereby, we evaluate the potential opportunities and challenges of expanding the role of nitrogen-based molecules in the energy sector, outlining their use as energy carriers in relevant fields.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't