Ellen BennEllen Benn, a graduate student in Dr. Jonah Erlebacher’s lab, was awarded a Croft Fellowship for the 2015-2016 academic year by the Johns Hopkins Environment, Energy, Sustainability & Health Institute. The award is made possible through a generous gift from Gordon Croft and aims to support doctoral students at Johns Hopkins University who are interested in environment, energy, and sustainability related areas.

The Fellowship will support Ellen’s research into transforming ammonia production to ultimately reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Ammonia is used in a wide array of industries, including plastics, fibers, explosives, dyes, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture. The current industrial means to form ammonia releases large amounts of carbon dioxide as a byproduct and relies on nonrenewable resources such as hydrogen gas. Ellen aims to form ammonia electrochemically–eliminating the need for an intensive process involving high temperatures and pressure–and in turn, reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In the process, she will examine the potential for using water as an initial reactor to form ammonia instead of hydrogen gas and potentially close the loop from using nonrenewable to renewable resources.

Visit the E²SHI website to view the full list of recipients.