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Meet the catalyst researchers

Elin Nilsen and Daham Gunawardana at Yara's research center in Herøya Research Park test catalysts used in the production of ammonia for fertiliser.
two persons in white lab coats in a pilot lab Increasing knowledge: "Practical testing is an important part of the development of catalysts for use in fertiliser production," say Daham Gunawardana and Elin Nilsen, researchers at Yara's research center in Herøya Research Park.

The test rig they run is used to compare other and new types of catalysts, or test a catalyst that is in use in the factory to see how efficient it is.

Increasing knowledge

The catalyst researchers say that they do tests because they want to have the knowledge about catalysts and the production processes. "Then we can see if the catalyst operates as it should in the factories, we can solve problems, and make a choice in which direction we should run production. With 14 factories worldwide producing ammonia, it is important to understand what can be improved in production." 

three people talking in a pilot lab
Tove Kilen, right, from Herøya Industripark AS, facilitates the companies in Herøya Research Park. Here in conversation with Elin Nilsen and Daham Gunawardana in Yara's pilot plant.

Good safety

The test rig has recently been modified.

"The rig has been modified to be able to drive it safely. After all, we work with hydrogen and ammonia, high temperature and high pressure, and must ensure good safety," says Nilsen.

The goal is to make green ammonia

Nitrogen and hydrogen are needed to produce ammonia.  "We get nitrogen from the air and hydrogen from natural gas. The aim is to be able to produce green ammonia where the hydrogen source from gas is replaced with renewable energy sources," they say.


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