NH3 Fuel Conference to Take New Format in 2018

The NH3 Fuel Association has exciting plans for the 15th annual NH3 Fuel Conference!

Our 2018 offering will have much in common with the 2017 edition, but will also embody significant departures. As was the case in 2017, our annual event will be held over two days, scheduled in alignment with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting. The key difference for 2018 is that it won’t be a single two-day conference; rather it will take the form of two separate conferences held on consecutive days. 

On October 31, we will host the NH3 Energy+ Topical Conference within the AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And on the next day, November 1, we will present the inaugural NH3 Energy Implementation Conference, also in Pittsburgh albeit at a separate venue.

Trevor and I are serving as co-organizers of the conferences. I’ve been attending NH3 Fuel Conferences since 2010, and I’ve always appreciated the blend of technical papers and discussions of economic implementation. (I define economic implementation as the process of taking technologies from the lab and scaling them up into full-blown energy infrastructure.)

Five years ago the theme of economic implementation could only be addressed through theoretical exercises because implementation projects were not even in the planning stages. But now we are in a completely different world.  Early scale-up is occurring and it’s possible to look ahead to larger and more ambitious hard investments in ammonia energy. Yara’s solar ammonia demonstration project in Western Australia is a good example of this new trend. (You can read the story in Ammonia Industry). As a result, our colleagues on the NH3 Fuel Association Board of Directors decided to give technology and implementation equal conference-programming time by dedicating one day to each.

NH3 Energy+ Topical Conference

Trevor is taking the lead in organizing the NH3 Energy+ Topical Conference. “Condensing the Topical Conference to a single day certainly presents a challenge,” he told me, “but it is also an opportunity to focus on the most significant advances in the science and technology of ammonia energy.” Papers will be delivered in both oral presentations and a poster-session over the course of the day.

The call for abstracts is now open and interested parties can submit their abstracts through the AIChE website. While AIChE’s general deadline is April 18, the deadline to submit an abstract for the NH3 Energy+ Topical Conference is May 21, 2018.

NH3 Energy Implementation Conference

I am taking the lead in organizing the NH3 Energy Implementation Conference. The plan is to organize the conference around “implementation arenas,” such as renewable electricity, maritime power, and trade in green energy. Each arena will have a framing presentation.  This will serve to put relevant information and considerations on the table. Topics introduced at this stage could include economic analyses, technical and regulatory hurdles, supportive governmental policies, prospects for international cooperation, identification of potentially interested jurisdictions and private-sector players, and near-term projects. The presentations will be followed by a discussion that is anchored by a panel but open to everyone in the room. The NH3 Fuel Association intends to record the event and to issue a “proceedings”-type distillation afterward.

Since the idea of splitting off an Implementation Conference is new this year, I would like to hear from ammonia energy supporters who have thoughts about how it can be conducted with greatest success. Please email me directly at [email protected].


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