Tag: IHI Corporation

SIP “Energy Carriers” video: ammonia turbines, industrial furnaces, fuel cells

To demonstrate the progress of the SIP "Energy Carriers" program, the Japan Science and Technology Agency last week released a video, embedded below, that shows three of its ammonia fuel research and development projects in operation.

R&D is often an abstract idea: this video shows what it looks like to generate power from ammonia.

As it turns out, fuel cells aren't hugely photogenic. Nonetheless, if a picture is worth a thousand words, this will be a long article.

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Advances in Ammonia-Fired Gas Turbines Open Up Major Use Case

In the last 12 months ...
Researchers seeking to fire gas turbines with ammonia made significant strides toward realization of commercial-scale machines in both the U.K. and Japan. This means that electricity generation has become a realistic near-term use-case for ammonia energy.

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Green Ammonia Consortium: Bright Prospects in Japan for Ammonia as an Energy Carrier

In the last 12 months ...
In July 2017, 19 companies and three research institutions came together to form the Green Ammonia Consortium. Before this development, it was unclear whether ammonia would find a significant role in Japan’s hydrogen economy. In the wake of this announcement, however, ammonia seems to have claimed the leading position in the race among potential energy carriers.

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Major Development for Ammonia Energy in Japan

On July 25, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) announced that a collection of companies and research institutions had come together to form a Green Ammonia Consortium.  The 22-member group will take over responsibility for the ammonia aspect of the Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Program (SIP) Energy Carriers agenda when the SIP is discontinued at the end of fiscal 2018.  A JST press release states that the Consortium intends to develop a strategy for “forming [an] ammonia value chain,” promote demonstration projects that can further commercialization, and enable “Japanese industry to lead the world market.”

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Ammonia-Fueled Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Advance at Kyoto University

Earlier this month the Eguchi Laboratory at Kyoto University announced advances in ammonia-fueled solid oxide fuel cell technology.  The lab was able to produce a functioning fuel cell with a power output of one kilowatt.  The device attained “direct current power generation efficiency” in excess of 50% and reached 1,000 hours of continuous operation.

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Industrial demonstrations of ammonia fuel in Japan

Most of the ammonia energy projects I write about are in the research and development phase but, as I've said before, technology transfer from the academic lab to commercial deployment is moving swiftly - especially in Japan.

Last week, Nikkei Asian Review published two articles outlining plans by major engineering and power firms to build utility-scale demonstrations using ammonia as a fuel for electricity generation. Both projects aim to reduce the carbon intensity of the Japanese electrical grid, incrementally but significantly, by displacing a portion of the fossil fuels with ammonia. The first project will generate power using an ammonia-coal mix, while the second will combine ammonia with natural gas.

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How to create a market for low-carbon ammonia: product labeling

I wrote last week about ARPA-E's "transformative" ammonia synthesis technologies, describing three technology pathways under development: low pressure Haber-Bosch, electrochemical processes, and advanced electrolysis.

ARPA-E's ambitious R&D program might imply that a meaningful, commercial market for sustainable ammonia is still decades away. It represents, however, only the slow American tip of a fast-moving global iceberg.

In Japan, where there's no debate about climate science, the national effort is already well underway, with three programs to develop low-carbon ammonia synthesis under the Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), 'Energy Carriers.'

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Ammonia Turbine Power Generation with Reduced NOx

A common concern with ammonia fuel is that NOx emissions will be too high to control. However, in new research from Turkey, USA, and Japan, presented at this year's NH3 Fuel Conference in September 2016, two things became clear.

First, NOx emissions can be reduced to less than 10ppm by employing good engineering design and exploiting the chemical properties of ammonia, which plays a dual role as both the fuel and the emissions-cleanup agent.

Second, the deployment of ammonia-fueled turbines for power generation is not only feasible, but actively being developed, with demonstration units running today and improved demonstration projects currently in development.

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