A previous blog post on ammonia production and use compared ammonia production plant areas to ammonia use areas. The maps above list the average wind speed and the amount of ammonia used for fertilizer in areas of the United States. Potential wind powered production and fertilizer uses overlap in the upper Midwest.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center are collaborating with a multidisciplinary group to optimize the sustainable production of ammonia fertilizer. Minnesota farmers currently pay $400 million dollars annually to import ammonia fertilizer. The current wind to hydrogen to ammonia pilot plant uses existing technology which is about 10% efficient. Researchers are exploring the use of a magnesium chloride additive in the process to dramatically improve the efficiency of ammonia production.
Researchers envision modest sized production plants located in the state in areas with available wind or solar power and adequate supplies of ground water. For further information please read the article Harnessing the Wind to Create Sustainable Fertilizer by Kevin Coss.