This week, Lloyd's Register published the most significant comparative assessment so far of ammonia's potential as a zero-emission maritime fuel.
The new report compares ammonia, used in either internal combustion engines (ICE) or fuel cells, to other low-carbon technologies, including hydrogen, batteries, and biofuels, estimating costs for 2030. It concludes that, of all the sustainable, available options, ammonia "appears the most competitive."
A guest editorial by Norm Olson, President of the NH3 Fuel Association.
In 2004, the NH3 Fuel Association began promoting NH3 as the best alternative fuel choice to replace gasoline and diesel fuel.
Recently, I have been using the "NH3 Energy+" title in place of "NH3 Fuel" in presentations to illustrate that the benefits of NH3 go beyond fuels and go beyond energy storage (as important as these two items are). NH3 also provides a tremendous opportunity to significantly improve world food security and enable sustainable, local food production.
Eric McFarland, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara, likes fossil fuels and nuclear energy and is unimpressed by the menu of renewable energy technologies. But he is worried about climate change and he has an original view on how to modify our current energy system so that we don’t overload the atmosphere with CO2. He believes the key will be to separate fossil hydrocarbons into gaseous hydrogen and solid carbon. The chemistry he is developing in this area involves transferring “electrochemical potential” from hydrocarbons to alternative energy carriers. Ammonia is an energy carrier that McFarland believes is especially promising.