This year’s ammonia conference in Rotterdam, the third annual NH3 Event, begins two weeks from today. Since our guest post in March, announcing the initial roster of conference speakers, the organizers have confirmed new speakers, added more sessions, and announced further details.
The NH3 Event is a two-day conference, taking place on June 6 & 7, presenting “state of the art solutions and innovations on the subject of Sustainable Ammonia.” Although the conference hall is already close to capacity, a few dozen tickets remain available through the NH3 Event website.
For those still considering whether to attend, here are four of the many highlights.
In December 2018, Yara announced that it would simplify its operating model. Among the strategic changes to its corporate structure was the establishment a New Business segment, which hosted a new business unit called ‘Decarbonize Yara.’ While the Decarbonize team had already been working for some years, the reorganization brought greater strategic focus to its efforts – and these will be unveiled in Rotterdam. According to the description of Rob Stevens’s talk on June 6:
Decarbonizing fertilizer production, with ammonia as main product will only be possible when upstream decarbonized energy sources will be explored, the full value chain can be decarbonized, and the focus will move to nitrate based fertilizers. All, and more can be facilitated by decarbonized ammonia in collaboration with internal Yara business units and new external partnerships. The presentation will cover a few examples of initiatives towards the energy transition.
Rob Stevens, Yara, NH3 Event presentation, 06/06/2019
Ammonia synthesis technology licensor Casale will be presenting information about a new technology: a mega-scale ammonia plant, with an ammonia capacity of 6,000 tons per day or, roughly, two million tons per year. According to the description of Casale’s presentation, “Reducing the carbon footprint of ammonia as green energy carrier,” the large scale and process optimization of this natural gas-fed plant allows a significant increase in the amount of CO2 that can be captured for storage or utilization.
This new process reaches a carbon capture even higher than 90%, considering both ammonia process and utilities, without the inclusion of a dedicated CDR unit for post-combustion carbon capture of flue gases. Decarbonization targets are reached basing on a pre-combustion strategy, where syngas is partially used as (syn)fuel. Single-train plant production reaches very high capacity allowing the use of low-carbon ammonia as multipurpose energy carrier at large scale.
Michele Corbetta, Casale, NH3 Event presentation, 06/06/2019
A new speaker, recently added to the schedule, is David Bow, the SVP of Business Development for Nel Hydrogen. His presentation will address “Renewable hydrogen production for ammonia synthesis.” Nel has history here, with almost a century of experience building electrolyzers for ammonia plants, beginning in the early 20th Century, when it was part of Norsk Hydro (Yara was the other part of Norsk Hydro back in the day). More recent projects include the University of Minnesota’s wind-to-ammonia pilot plant, which has been operational since 2014, and the Raphael Schmuecker Solar Hydrogen Project, which has been producing ammonia from solar power since 2015, for use as both fertilizer and tractor fuel on its working farm in Iowa. (Both of those projects, the University of Minnesota and Pinehurst Farm, will also be presenting at the NH3 Event.)
Siemens / Oxford University
It has been operational since June 2018, but this will be the first public presentation of results from the Siemens Green Ammonia Demonstrator. One of Siemens’s partners is the University of Oxford and, interestingly, this presentation will “introduce new research at Oxford that investigates the impact of green hydrogen and ammonia on energy infrastructure in developing countries.”
A key challenge in developing countries is building energy infrastructure to meet growing demand without entering traditional carbon-intensive development pathways, such as coal. This research models green hydrogen and ammonia for balancing solar/wind intermittency and identifies key levers for economic feasibility.
Zac Cesaro, Siemens / University of Oxford, NH3 Event presentation 06/07/2019
Program and registration
The full schedule for the 2019 NH3 Event, and information about registering, is available at https://nh3event.com.
About the NH3 Event
The NH3 Event, an annual European conference on sustainable ammonia, is the initiative of a Dutch foundation, Stichting NH3 Event Europe, which aims to promote sustainable energy solutions with ammonia. The NH3 Event is organized in collaboration with Proton Ventures, Yara, Casale, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG, Haldor Topsoe, Duiker Combustion Engineers, and Battolyser BV.