Siemens Energy, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and GeoPura are developing a £3.5 million ammonia cracker prototype in Newcastle, UK. The prototype will deliver 200 kg of high-purity, PEM-suitable hydrogen fuel per day, and will be based on Fortescue’s “Metal Membrane Technology” (MMT) purification process. This technology was presented at both the 2017 and 2018 AEA conferences, and has been under development by FFI and Australian research body CSIRO for the past few years. In 2020, Hyundai joined the R&D push, aiming to demonstrate the technology for fuel cell vehicle refueling in Korea.
Scale-up for future applications is anticipated, if the prototype demonstration in Newcastle is successful. The initial focus is on mobility and off-grid power applications, with future markets like industrial feedstock, heat, and grid-scale power generation under consideration. GeoPura will manage operations in Newcastle and act as offtaker, with the hydrogen to be used as in its Hydrogen Power Unit (HPU) fuel cell technology. GeoPura has already deployed the HPU as a replacement for diesel generators in various off-grid test cases, including construction sites & TV production.
We have just 13 years to deliver a net-zero electricity grid for the UK. Time is running out and we can’t do this alone. This innovative green ammonia cracker could be a game-changer for scaling up the green hydrogen industry – an important step to drive the energy transition.Siemens Energy UK & Ireland VP Steve Scrimshaw in his organisation’s official press release, 7 Nov 2022
The research and development of technology like this is key to the success of green hydrogen globally. There is an overwhelming demand for supply of green hydrogen, particularly in Europe, and transport is central to ensuring that supply. We know that green hydrogen can be transported long distances as green ammonia, and, if successful, ammonia cracking coupled with MMT means that you can convert it as you need to, at the point of use. The work being done as part of this partnership stands to help make green ammonia a globally traded hydrogen carrier and fuel not just for the future but for today.FFI CEO Mark Hutchinson in Siemen Energy’s official press release, 7 Nov 2022
Siemens Energy was one of the leaders in the now-famous green ammonia demonstrator project in Oxford, which launched operations in 2018.