The year 2017 was 150 years after the birth of Kristian Birkeland and 100 years after his death. Birkeland, together with Eyde, were the founders of the industrialisation of nitrogen fixation by an electric arc. Norsk Hydro (the former owner of Yara) was founded on December 2, 1905 by Sam Eyde, exploiting the novel technology for producing artificial fertilizers by fixing nitrogen from air. The so called Birkeland–Eyde process was relatively inefficient in terms of energy consumption. Therefore, in the 1910s and 1920s, it was gradually replaced in Norway by a combination of the Haber process and the Ostwald process.
But is that still true ? The costs of power become less and less nowadays. Rune Ingels, a former Yara employee, strongly believes times have changed and started up his company Applied N2. Continuing on the basis of Birkeland and Eyde, Rune explores and develops very interesting new and innovative business opportunities in the fertilizer industry.