Strategic collaboration announced between Proton Ventures and Duiker Combustion Engineers

This week, two industry members of the Ammonia Energy Association announced that they have launched a “strategic collaboration.” Coming from opposite ends of the ammonia energy value chain, one specialized in production and the other in combustion, this new partnership allows the two companies to “complete the chain of using ammonia as an energy solution.”

Proton Ventures is an engineering company that develops small-scale plants that can convert “wind and solar energy into ammonia;” it is also the host sponsor of the annual NH3 Event in Rotterdam. Duiker Combustion Engineers supplies combustion systems to oil refineries and petrochemical processing industries, but it sees a new market opening for one of its specialized technologies, called “stochiometrically controlled oxidation” (SCO), which “converts ammonia into high temperature heat.”

With refineries facing not only larger demand on their sulphur recovery capacity, but more and more, face capacity problems due to the quantity of sour water they generate, Duiker introduced a novel concept. This novel concept was sprouted from the idea that ammonia should be treated separately from a sulphur recovery unit as not only it increases the hydraulic load but its incomplete combustion can cause problems such as corrosive salt formation.

The staged oxidation process that was developed for this purpose was dubbed a Stoichiometry-Controlled Oxidation unit as this name clearly outlines the core concept. The process dynamically controls the air demand to prevent NOX from being formed. With this process being extremely robust and able to treat feeds containing sulphur species … we have the option to, with the use of a two stage stripper, combust nearly pure ammonia.

Duiker Combustion Engineers website, Stoichiometry-Controlled Oxidation, accessed August 2019

Duiker’s SCO technology has already “proven itself technically and commercially,” as we reported earlier this year in the article, Dutch Company Breaks New Ground in Ammonia Combustion. Now, according to this week’s announcement, its new collaboration with Proton Ventures gives Duiker “the opportunity to place our S.C.O. technology worldwide on the map in a completely different customer segment than we currently serve.”

Hans Vrijenhoef, CEO Proton Ventures: “We like to collaborate with partners to complete the chain of using ammonia as an energy solution. This includes also power and heat generation and solutions for energy storage. The S.C.O. technology of Duiker CE opens new possibilities for us in applying local ammonia production from small to large scale, such as conversion of power plants to cleaner fuels while maintaining the existing installations. A combination of our expertise leads to this unique collaboration” …

Albert Lanser, Duiker CE Business Development Director: “ … This S.C.O. technology is, in combination with ‘green’ ammonia production unit, capable of making a real contribution to the climate because ammonia does not emit CO2 during combustion. The collaboration with Proton Ventures, for example, has a reinforcing effect on the business proposition. After all, we can now offer the customer a total concept for making his / her heat demand or production process more sustainable.”

Proton Ventures press release, Strategic collaboration Proton Ventures and Duiker Combustion Engineers, July 30, 2019

Both companies will present technical updates on their work at the annual Ammonia Energy Conference, in Orlando, FL, this November 12-14. The full conference schedule was announced last week.


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Jan Ebenholtz

Many projects are developing small nuclear reactors deleivering high temperature steam and electricity. Would it not be wise to engage with these projects. After all the production of ammonia must be very cheap and efficient to compete.

Joe Beach

There are definitely people involved with nuclear power that would like to investigate pairing the new generation of nuclear power plants with NH3 production.