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July 6 2013

Diamonds Are A Farmer's Best Friend

Making fertilizer for farms requires turning nitrogen into ammonia. The current industrial process uses extreme pressure and temperature to produce the chemical reaction and that process takes a lot of energy. Some 2 percent of the world’s electrical output goes into turning nitrogen into ammonia.

For decades scientists have been looking or a cheaper and easier way to do it. University of Wisconsin-Madison chemist Robert Hamers found a way: with diamonds.

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