Most of the talk of ammonia in the car industry these days is related to diesel after-treatment systems. Shawn Grannell of Ann Arbor MI has a different idea. Grannell is working on his doctoral thesis in applied physics at the University of Michigan and he thinks that ammonia is the solution to replacing petroleum.

The idea of ammonia as a motor fuel originated Don Gillspie, the President of Eldon Engineering. The only byproducts of burning ammonia are nitrogen and water making it even cleaner than any biofuels. As part of Grannell's thesis project he converted an old Chevy S-10 pickup to dual-fuel capability, running on either gasoline or an 80/20 mix of ammonia and gas. The truck manages 27mpg on either fuel source. Grannell is currently on his way from Ann Arbor to California in the truck and the 930 lbs of on-board ammonia is expected to last until Wyoming. The only drawback is that most ammonia is currently made from natural gas meaning that carbon will still be generated somewhere.

[Source: Ann Arbor News]

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