Oxford University-Sturman Industries discuss collaboration





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Published on Apr 21, 2017

APRIL 22, 2017

“Oxford University Professor, Bill David, promotes collaboration with Sturman Industries”

Oxford University Professor of Chemistry and Senior Fellow at the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Bill David, was a featured speaker at the recent Oxford Innovation Society (OIS) meeting held in Pembroke College, Oxford, on March 23rd 2017. In his talk, David offered a thought-provoking presentation on a practical and pragmatic alternative to batteries for the massive storage and utilization of renewable energy from transportation to grid-based storage at a national scale. The gist of his remarks: Let’s use the sun, air, and water – ubiquitous natural resources which he refers to as the ‘Global Commons” – to generate carbon-free liquid fuel that can be used for power generation. The first step is the generation and storage of NH3 fuel from these naturally abundant resources; the next is to use engines that can efficiently combust the NH3 fuel.

Professor David’s work at Oxford in recent years has focused on developing catalysts that both facilitate the decomposition of ammonia to its elemental components, nitrogen and hydrogen, and also increase the efficiency of the reverse process of ammonia formation. At the 2013 NH3 Fuel Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, he first heard Eddie Sturman speak and immediately realized that the engines that Eddie described must be a key component of any future renewable technology that involves ammonia. In his recent OIS presentation, David reiterated this message to Oxford academics and entrepreneurs saying: “Quite simply, I believe that Eddie Sturman has reinvented the internal combustion engine. His innovations not only offer a route to massive reductions in fossil-fuel emissions but also redefine the relevance, impact and opportunities of the internal combustion engine in a future zero-carbon economy.” David is a strong supporter and advocate of engines retro-fit with Sturman-enabling controls to synthesize ammonia and to combust NH3 for electricity generation and mobility.

Sturman’s All-Ternative digital hydraulical engine controls are designed to be retro-fit onto commercial internal combustion engines to flexibly and efficiently combust both fossil, and low-carbon and zero-carbon alternative fuels. Eddie Sturman commented: “As a senior scientist at Oxford who was part of the research group that invented the lithium-ion battery in the early 1980s, Professor David’s comments, which focused on large-scale energy usage from transportation through to grid-based storage, emphasized the greater practicality, with respect to batteries, of the combined advantage of modern engines with the ubiquitous availability of liquid NH3 fuel; this is a noteworthy deduction.” Sturman has successfully demonstrated the high compression ratio required for combustion of NH3. But there is more to be done. “Working with Professor David to make NH3 and demonstrate, as he has proposed, its affordability and effectiveness at a multi-megawatt scale at the Harwell Research and Innovation Campus near Oxford would be transformational!” Sturman said. “It’s an Earth Day vision and gift that, as Professor David noted, will not only benefit campuses and cities, but has the potential to power and empower rural communities throughout the world.”


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