Ammonia cracker: design and safety considerations

Ammonia cracking is an endothermic reaction with characteristics similar to those of steam methane reforming. As a result, large scale ammonia crackers are likely to more than a passing similarity to the steam-methane reformers which are currently used to convert natural gas to hydrogen. When transferring technology from one industry to another the challenge is to distinguish between know-how which benefits the new application, and which should therefore be applied; and know-how which is detrimental to the new application and therefore needs to be either unlearnt or relearnt. The presentation will cover the choices facing the designer of a large-scale…


New UK joint venture for lightweight, modular ammonia crackers

Reaction Engines, IP Group, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) launched a new joint venture this week at COP26 in Glasgow. The group will design and commercialise lightweight, modular ammonia cracking reactors to enable the use of ammonia in hard-to-decarbonise sectors, particularly aviation, shipping and off-grid power generation applications. The design will feature Reaction Engines’ heat exchanger technology developed for its SABRE™ air-breathing rocket engine. In this setup, exhaust heat is utilised to partially crack ammonia back into a fuel blend that "mimics" jet fuel. STFC will lead development of the cracking catalyst, with funding to be provided by IP Group.


Vlissingen ammonia import hub progresses

Proton Ventures has been awarded a FEED contract to “re-convert” existing tanks to handle ammonia imports at Vesta Terminal’s site in Vlissingen. The future “Greenpoint Valley” hub will have a throughput capacity of at least one million tonnes per year of ammonia, jetty access for VLGCs, railcar loading, and potentially an onsite ammonia cracker. Also in the Netherlands, Battolyser Systems is leading a proposal for a native electrolyser manufacturing ecosystem in Rotterdam.


New ammonia import infrastructure under development across Europe (and beyond)

New import terminals, energy hubs, bunker facilities & upgrades to existing ammonia storage facilities are underway across Europe. This week, we explore new project announcements in Wilhelmshaven, Brunsbüttel, Rotterdam and Immingham. We visit Taiwan for another ammonia import terminal announcement, and look at a new partnership between thyssenkrupp and ADNOC to deploy large-scale cracking - the “last piece of the puzzle” for global ammonia trading.


Ammonia cracking to enable hydrogen-fueled power generation in South Korea

Johnson Matthey and Doosan Enerbility will develop hydrogen-fueled, closed cycle gas turbine power plants in South Korea. Johnson Matthey will provide cracking technology and catalysts to convert ammonia into pure hydrogen fuel, while Doosan is currently developing a 380 MW, 100% hydrogen fed gas turbine, which will reportedly be complete by 2027. The two will work together to integrate cracking & CCGT technologies, potentially providing a blueprint for similar power plants in the future.


Siemens Energy begins work on commercial cracker prototype

Siemens Energy, Fortescue Future Industries and GeoPura are developing a £3.5 million ammonia cracker prototype in Newcastle, UK. The prototype will deliver 200 kg of high-purity, PEM-suitable hydrogen fuel per day, and will be based on Fortescue’s “Metal Membrane Technology” (MMT) purification process. GeoPura will act as offtaker for the prototype facility, with the hydrogen to be used as in its Hydrogen Power Unit fuel cell technology.