Article

Renewable ammonia opportunities in Egypt

For our December episode of Ammonia Project Features, we welcomed Alzbeta Klein (International Fertilizer Association) and Tarek Hosny (Fertiglobe). Our speakers discussed a pathway forward for Egypt’s fertilizer industry to decarbonize, presented the newly-commissioned Egypt Green Hydrogen project, and outlined the unique advantages (and challenges) of developing renewable production projects in Egypt.

Article

Renewable ammonia & fertilizers in Sub-Saharan Africa

In our December episode of Ammonia Project Features, our three guests focused on renewable ammonia production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Allan Manhanga (Sable Chemicals) took us through the story of renewable ammonia production in Zimbabwe from 1972 to 2015, and what is needed to restart the industry there. Ralph Koekkoek (MET Development) presented a new renewable ammonia & fertilizer project underway in Kenya, with a focus on local farmers and national food security. And Marcel Jacobs (African Hydrogen Partnership) emphasized the important role of organisations in raising awareness & de-risking future projects, particularly through approaches like the proposed East African Green Hydrogen and Fertilizer Corridor.

Article

Gigawatt-scale renewable ammonia in Northwest Africa

In our November episode of Ammonia Project Features we explored two gigawatt-sized ammonia production projects in Northwest Africa: AMUN (Morocco) and AMAN (Mauritania). Nouri Chahid (CWP Global) presented project details, while Lloyd Pinnell (Systemiq) explored the socio-economic impacts of AMAN in Mauritania. If developed in the right way, AMAN could provide potable water, access to cheap renewable electricity, significant local employment & education opportunities, as well as the opportunity to build institutions to best manage new economic windfalls.

Article

Production technology updates: from mega-scale to distributed ammonia

Recently, KBR launched its Ammonia 10,000 technology for newbuild ammonia plants, tripling the largest available single train capacity to 10,000 metric tonnes per day. In our latest Technology Insights article, we explore the other pieces of the puzzle required for mega-scale ammonia, as well as some updates from the other end of the spectrum, with three distributed, small-scale ammonia synthesis systems under development in North America.

Article

Renewable ammonia: key projects & technologies in the emerging market

For the latest episode of Ammonia Project Features, we explored the ongoing renewable ammonia project in Puertollano, Spain. Marc van Doorn (Grupo Fertiberia) and Imanol Arrizabalaga Prado (Nel ASA) discussed progress to date and technologies used at the first large-scale, electrolysis-based hydrogen facility in Europe, which is operated by renewable energy developer Iberdrola. We also considered what other pioneering projects are on the horizon, and how can electrolyzer manufacturers like Nel scale-up to meet growing demand?

Article

A road ahead via lithium-mediated electrochemical nitrogen reduction?

Realisation of electrochemical nitrogen reduction to ammonia has proven to be a herculean scientific challenge. Recently, a focus on Lithium-mediated synthesis has delivered promising results. Last year a team from Monash University in Australia unveiled their phosphonium “proton shuttle” method, and this year have reported nearly 100% Faradaic efficiency for the reaction (with promising reaction rates). Late last year, a team from the Technical University of Demark (DTU) reported that addition of small amounts of oxygen gas drastically increased Faradaic efficiencies and production rates. The results push electrochemical synthesis R&D ever-closer to elusive benchmarks set for commercial realisation.

Article

Renewable Fertilizers in Europe

In our most recent episode of Ammonia Project Features, we explored the potential for renewable fertilizers in Europe. Birgitte Holder (Yara) explained that renewable hydrogen is low-hanging fruit for decarbonizing food production, but further emissions reduction will come from working across the full value chain: including on the farm itself. Yara’s agreement with agricultural cooperative Lantmannen is part of this wider focus. From a regulatory perspective, Theo Paquet (Fertilizers Europe) showed us there are many regulatory levers to pull to achieve decarbonization goals in the fertilizer sector, and that national food & energy security concerns may accelerate regulatory change in the coming years.

Article

The social license to operate low and zero-carbon ammonia energy projects

Our latest Ammonia Project Features webinar focused on the social license to operate for low and zero-carbon ammonia energy projects. Sam Bartlett from the Green Hydrogen Organisation explained the details of his organisation’s new “Green Hydrogen Standard”, which not only incorporates emissions, but also the environmental, social and governance consequences of a production project. Jonathan Cocker from Borden Ladner Gervais LLP then took us through the key challenges for obtaining social license, and what we can learn from other industries and case studies already in progress around the world.

Article

Nuclear-powered ammonia production

The potential for nuclear-powered ammonia production is developing fast. Two seperate industrial consortia (Copenhagen Atomics, Alfa Larval & Topsoe, and KBR & Terrestrial Energy) have formed to develop thorium-fueled reactors, and hydrogen & ammonia production is a key part of their plans. Given nuclear electricity dominates France’s energy mix, a grid-connected electrolyser project at Borealis’ fertiliser production plant in Ottmarsheim, France will be one of the first examples of commercial-scale, nuclear-powered ammonia production. And, while capital costs & lead times remain significant, mass production of new technologies and research into flexible power production capabilities are emerging as key to unlocking nuclear-powered ammonia production.

Article

Decarbonizing fossil-based ammonia production in North America

Our latest Ammonia Project Features webinar focused on various pathways for decarbonizing fossil-based ammonia production in North America. Blake Adair from Nutrien took us on a tour of some of his organisation’s existing low-carbon ammonia production facilities. He also explained how the technology solutions already exist to drive down emissions from hydrogen production, and improve rates of carbon capture. Dr. Amgad Elgowainy from Argonne National Laboratories then presented his team’s analysis of carbon dioxide mitigation costs for ammonia production, noting that current federal incentives for CCS projects already have a material impact on project costs. With incentives in place and mature technology available, we will soon see more low-carbon ammonia production projects emerge in North America.