Earlier this month, Amogy demonstrated a new ammonia-powered tractor in Stony Brook, New York. A 100 kW ammonia-to-power system was successfully integrated into a John Deere mid-size standard tractor, which can operate on liquid ammonia fuel for a period of several hours. The tractor conversion demonstration was made possible by significant seed funding secured in late 2021.
The unique system is comprised of a standard liquid-storage tank and highly efficient ammonia-cracking modules integrated into a hybrid fuel cell system, which can provide consistent primary power for several hours per refueling. Therefore, the pioneering vehicle maintains the functionality and duration requirements operators rely on to support farming tasks, which has never been offered with other alternative energy solutions. The ammonia-powered tractor was driven for separate periods, with a refueling session in between. Refueling a tractor with liquid ammonia is fast and simple, similar to gas or diesel refueling.Details of the ammonia-powered tractor, from Amogy’s official press release, 1 June 2022
Ammonia is a viable zero-emission fuel for all heavy-duty vehicles, but especially farming and agriculture, where the readily-available chemical has been used as a fertilizer for decades. Amogy is at the forefront of efforts to establish zero-carbon ammonia as a leading fuel for these vehicles. Ammonia offers a high energy density and there are plentiful existing infrastructures, such as pipelines, terminals and storage methods, in the U.S. and globally, to support such a transition.Amogy CEO Seonghoon Woo in his organisation’s official press release, 1 June 2022
In the press release, Amogy indicates that their focus for the next year is demonstrating an ammonia-powered Class 8 truck, a shipping vessel, and a compact, 1 MW ammonia-to-power system.
University of Minnesota, Schmuecker Renewable Energy System and Project ACTIVATE
Ammonia-powered tractors are familiar to our readers at Ammonia Energy. In 2015, attendees at the NH3 Fuel Association Conference were introduced to Jay Schmuecker’s ammonia-hydrogen fueled tractor used on his Iowa farm. In 2019, a group from the University of Minnesota demonstrated a dual fuel, ammonia-diesel tractor at a research facility near Morris. And, although the project is in its very early stages, in September 2021 an R&D team led by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the Silesian University of Technology (SUT) announced their goal to demonstrate a liquid ammonia-powered tractor by 2023.
*This article was corrected to reflect the reported output of the ammonia-to-power system: 100 kW.