Ammonia plant cost comparisons: Natural gas, Coal, or Electrolysis?

A recent feasibility study compares the costs of building and operating a new ammonia plant using one of three technologies: natural gas, coal, or electrolysis.

Unsurprisingly, natural gas is the most competitive today. However, it might surprise you how closely competitive electrolysis has become.

I’ve written variations on this theme before, including a report on two comparative studies of ammonia production pathways from two teams of researchers in Canada and Italy in February 2017, and more recent updates on the cost-competitiveness of electrolytic hydrogen feedstock relative to natural gas, based on analysis by the International Energy Agency in June 2017.

However, this is the first time I’ve seen hard numbers for a technology cost-comparison reported by an actual project-in-development, as opposed to academic projections.

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