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NH3 Fuel Association Announces Charter Sponsors

The NH3 Fuel Association (NH3FA) has released the names of the organization’s charter group of sponsors. The common thread that unites the six companies? A conviction that ammonia energy represents a significant opportunity for their businesses. The sponsors are Yara, Nel Hydrogen, Airgas, Haldor Topsoe, Casale, and Terrestrial Energy.

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Yara: solar ammonia pilot plant, for start-up in 2019

Yara, the world's biggest producer of ammonia, has announced that it intends to build a demonstration plant to produce ammonia using solar power, near its existing world-scale plant in the Pilbara, in Western Australia. It expects to complete the feasibility study this year. Next year, in 2018, Yara hopes to finish the engineering design and begin construction so that it can complete the project and begin production of carbon-free ammonia in 2019.

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NH3 Safety

The relative safety of NH3 (ammonia) is one of the most debated topics surrounding the adoption of NH3 fuel. Inaccurate and misleading information has been widely circulated on the topic. A thorough examination of the facts will show that the use of NH3 in energy applications will not only meet the most stringent safety standards currently in place worldwide, but that NH3 will be safer to use than many leading transportation fuels. Two highly credible risk assessments analyze the safety of NH3 vs gasoline and other fuels, and both of them conclude that NH3 would be as safe as, or safer than, gasoline, methanol, LPG (propane), CNG (compressed natural gas), or hydrogen.

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Bio-Ammonia for fertilizer or fuel (a tale of two bacteria)

Today, we saw probably the single most important announcement in the five years that I've been tracking sustainable ammonia production technologies. Global ag-input giant Bayer and MIT-spin off Ginkgo Bioworks ("we design custom microbes") announced a USD $100 million investment to engineer nitrogen-fixing bacteria into seed coatings, potentially displacing ammonia from its fertilizer market. On the other side of the world, in the Philippines, researchers are developing another use for another bacteria: industrial-scale algal ammonia synthesis. This would allow ammonia to become a carbon-free biofuel, creating a new and much, much, much bigger market for ammonia: no longer fertilizer but energy.

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Kawasaki Moving Ahead with LH2 Tanker Project

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KWI) is moving ahead with plans for a “liquefied hydrogen carrier ship,” as reported by at least two Japanese news outlets since July.  This means that the groups backing each of the energy carriers included within Japan’s Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP) have all made significant moves ahead of the program’s termination at the end of 2018.  On July 25, 2017 the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) announced that a collection of companies and research institutions had come together to form the Green Ammonia Consortium.  On July 27, 2017, Chiyoda Corporation announced that work was starting on a demonstration project that will transport hydrogen from Brunei to Japan using liquid organic hydride carrier technology. 

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Optimizing technology pathways for Ammonia Fuel: production, transportation, and use

A paper has just been published by researchers in The Philippines who set out to determine the most environmentally benign way to produce, transport, and use ammonia as a fuel for vehicles. This new work provides a detailed life cycle analysis of a broad range of ammonia technologies, evaluating both carbon and nitrogen footprints of each, and identifying the optimal "well-to-wheel" pathway. Their results support the idea that using ammonia for energy presents a safe and sustainable way to bring about the hydrogen economy.

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BOC/Linde Embraces Ammonia-Based Hydrogen Fueling Technology

Dateline Sydney, August 22, 2017.   Industrial gas vendor Linde Group (under its BOC brand) confirms its participation in a previously announced Australian ammonia-energy project.  With the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in the lead, the project partners will build and operate a pilot-scale “ammonia-to-hydrogen cracking” facility that showcases CSIRO’s hydrogen purification membrane technology.  BOC/Linde will contribute goods and services valued at AUD$100,000 (USD$80,000) to the AUD$3.4 million project.

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Japanese Cabinet Office Holds Energy Carriers Symposium

Ammonia energy received favorable notice at the Energy Carriers "Open Symposium" held on July 26 by the Cabinet Office of the Japan Government.  Hydrogen energy carriers are a key focus of Japan's Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program.  The event took place at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.  An observer estimated that approximately 400 attendees were present.

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NH3 Energy +: More Information on the Topical Conference

NH3 Fuel Association President Norm Olson made three announcements this week about specific aspects of the “NH3 Energy+: Enabling Optimized, Sustainable Energy and Agriculture” Topical Conference. The Topical Conference will be held on Wednesday November 1 and Thursday November 2 as part of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis in the U.S. The first announcement pertains to a conference registration discount for members of the NH3 Fuel Association (NH3FA).