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.

Kansai Electric Power and five other utilities will join hands to commercialize technology for burning ammonia with coal in power plants, a method that could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 20%.

The group, which also includes Osaka Gas and Chubu Electric Power, will participate in government research on ammonia as an energy source. The goal is to generate power efficiently from a mixture of ammonia and coal …

Field testing is slated to begin this year, with the aim of bringing the technology to market in the early 2020s …

Adopting this technology at aging plants would bring emissions in line with those of newer facilities, reducing the need for new investment. If 70 plants switch to a coal-ammonia mix, CO2 emissions would fall by an estimated 40 million tons a year, equivalent to about 3% of Japan’s annual total.
Nikkei Asian Review: Japanese utilities team on CO2-reducing tech for coal plants, 03/02/2017

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