Tag: IHI Corporation

Ammonia for Fuel Cells: AFC, SOFC, and PEM

In the last 12 months ...
IHI Corporation tested its 1 kW ammonia-fueled solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) in Japan; Project Alkammonia concluded its work on cracked-ammonia-fed alkaline fuel cells (AFC) in the EU; the University of Delaware's project for low-temperature direct ammonia fuel cells (DAFC) continues with funding from the US Department of Energy's ARPA-E; and, in Israel, GenCell launched its commercial 4 kW ammonia-fed AFC with field demonstrations at up to 800 locations across Kenya.

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Direct Ammonia Fuel Cells Take Another Step Forward in Japan

Japanese manufacturing concern IHI reported on May 16 that it had “successfully generated 1 kW class power” from a direct ammonia solid oxide fuel cell.  This is the latest milestone for a technology that could play a major role in the roll-out  of Japan’s Hydrogen Society.

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IHI First to Reach 20% Ammonia-Coal Co-Firing Milestone

The Japanese manufacturer IHI Corporation announced on March 28 that it had successfully demonstrated the co-firing of ammonia and coal in a fuel mix composed of 20% ammonia. Ammonia-coal co-firing had previously been demonstrated by Chugoku Electric in a fuel mix composed of just 0.6-0.8% ammonia.

IHI says its ultimate goal is to “construct a value chain that connects the production and use of ammonia, using combustion technology of gas turbines and coal-fired boilers, using ammonia as fuel.”

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On the Ground in Japan: Hydrogen Activity Accelerates

A recent Ammonia Energy post mentioned that in December 2017 “the Japanese government . . . approved an updated hydrogen strategy which appears to give ammonia the inside track in the race against liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid organic hydride (LOH) energy carrier systems.”  While this news is positive, the hydrogen strategy remains the essential context for economic implementation of ammonia energy technologies in Japan; ammonia’s prospects are only as bright as those of hydrogen.  This is why Ammonia Energy asks from time to time, how is hydrogen faring in Japan?

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IHI Commits to Ammonia Energy. Big Time.

During his presentation at the November 2017 NH3 Energy + Topical Conference, Shogo Onishi of IHI Corporation described the progress made by IHI and Tohoku University in limiting NOx emissions from ammonia-fired gas turbines (AGTs).  Regular attendees of the annual NH3 Fuel Conference identify IHI with its work on AGTs since the company also addressed this topic at the 2016 and 2015 events.  However, a scan of published materials shows that AGTs are just one aspect of IHI’s activity in the ammonia energy arena.  In fact, IHI is also looking at the near-term commercialization of technologies in ammonia-coal co-firing in steam boilers and direct ammonia fuel cells.  This level and breadth of commitment to ammonia energy is unique among global capital goods producers.

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Green Ammonia Consortium Comes to the Fore in Japan

On December 8, the Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun ran a story about the future of coal-fired electricity generation in Japan.  The story touched on topics ranging from the plumbing in a Chugoku Electric generating station to the Trump administration’s idiosyncratic approach to environmental diplomacy.  And it contained this sentence: “Ammonia can become a ‘savior’ of coal-fired power.”

Clearly an explanation is in order.

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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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