Starfire Energy was started in 2007 to deploy sustainable energy solutions. We began by designing, building, and maintaining solar electric and solar water heating systems. As we did that, the need for a renewable fuel for seasonal energy storage, transportation, and heat applications became increasingly clear. We examined several options and determined that NH3 was the best choice. In 2015, we received funding from ARPA-E to develop our Rapid Ramp NH3 technology. This grant was followed in 2019 by an increase from ARPA-E, a grant from DOE SBIR, and a grant from the State of Colorado OEDIT.
Starfire Energy has demonstrated the flexible, low-pressure Rapid Ramp NH3 process in a 3 kg/day prototype reactor, and a 10 kg/day system. That system is the foundation for our 100 kg/day field-deployed modular pilot system. We will continue using 10x-20x unit size increases to reach a 50 tonne/day modular system. We will mass produce the 50 tonne/day modular system to provide a low-risk, affordable, distributed way to make carbon-free NH3 fuel.
We are also addressing NH3 fuel use by developing a NH3 “cracking” system that converts NH3 into nitrogen and hydrogen gases. This can be used to make a point-of-use NH3 + H2 blend that burns well in a wide range of equipment, or it can also be used with other equipment to make a lower cost, high purity, high pressure hydrogen source for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.