The second annual European Conference on Sustainable Ammonia Solutions has announced its full program, spread over two days, May 17 and 18, 2018, at Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands. The international cadre of speakers, representing a dozen countries from across Europe as well as the US, Canada, Israel, and Japan, will give an overview of global developments in ammonia energy from the perspectives of industry, academia, and government agencies.
The conference will begin with the perspective of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate in a talk by Ed Buddenbaum of Topsector Energy, a public-private-partnership focused on the innovations needed for the energy transition. His talk, Power-2-Ammonia: chances and topics from a governmental perspective, will examine the opportunity for ammonia in “the energy system (storage) and the industry as one of the green hydrogen solutions for our future.”
Sustainable Ammonia Synthesis
The conference host, Hans Vrijenhoef of Proton Ventures, will close the first day of presentations by talking more about Dutch Initiatives to Store Sustainable Energy in the Form of Ammonia. The latest of these initiatives to be announced was the Energy Island at Goeree-Overflakkee, about which we wrote last month, where a renewable ammonia demonstration plant will begin operations by January 2020, developed by a consortium that includes Siemens and Yara.
Representatives from both Siemens and Yara will be speaking at the conference. Ian Wilkinson will be reporting progress on the Siemens Green Ammonia demonstration plant currently under construction in the UK. Rob Stevens‘s talk, entitled Green Ammonia: Back to the Future, will describe how Yara’s “focus is currently on de-carbonised technologies for mineral fertiliser production, including new business models.”
Both Yara and Proton Ventures have sponsored the conference as Gold Partners. The other Gold Partner is Casale, a major ammonia synthesis technology licensor.
Umberto Rossi of Casale will give a talk on Ammonia from Renewables, in which he will describe how “one of the main challenges in plant design is to engineer a flexible ammonia synthesis” system because when you use intermittent renewables, like solar or wind, “hydrogen production fluctuates as the energy source varies during the day.” Rossi’s presentation “will show Casale’s solution to handle load variation.”
Two other conference sponsors, Nel Hydrogen (a Silver Partner) and ThyssenKrupp (a Partner), are both appearing at the European conference for the first time.
Raymond Schmid will present a talk on Atmospheric Alkaline & PEM water electrolysis, describing the technologies that electrolyzer manufacturer Nel Hydrogen and its US subsidiary, Proton OnSite, intend to deploy for large-scale ammonia production from renewable power.
Representatives from ThyssenKrupp will be talking about the German conglomerate’s advances in renewable ammonia production process technology. ThyssenKrupp is one of the world’s leading ammonia synthesis technology licensors, through its subsidiary Uhde, as well as a major ammonia plant construction firm, through its engineering and construction arm.
Other presentations will discuss industrial approaches to sustainable ammonia. Pat Han from Haldor Topsoe, another global ammonia technology licensor, will talk about A Journey of Transformation, in which “the pathway to future sustainable ammonia production … will include the transformation from current conventional ammonia production to production based solely on air, water and renewable electricity.” Jan Vaes of Hydrogenics, which recently developed a 60MW grid-scale PEM-based electrolyzer, will ask the question, is Grid scale PEM water electrolysis technology ready for ammonia-scale deployment? Grégory Bartholomé will present the perspective of Engie, the global engineering firm and founder member of the Hydrogen Council.
Other presentations on the subject of sustainable ammonia synthesis include speakers from Canada, the UK, the US, and Japan. Rick Musleh, from the Ministry of the Economy in Saskatchewan, will discuss “How small scale ammonia can be utilized to reduce GHG emissions in the Province of Saskatchewan.” From the University of Oxford, Richard Nayak-Luke will present his Islanded power-to-ammonia production process, quantifying the ammonia energy storage requirements in islanded and semi-islanded networks. Troy Benjegerdes will talk about blockchain-based financing and “How Wind powered Ammonia Production can enable 20 Gigawatts of Clean, Renewable wind energy in Iowa in under 2 years.” And Ken-ichi Aika, of Tokyo University and the Japanese SIP “Energy Carrier” Program, will discuss the Difference between Iron and Ruthenium Catalysts for Ammonia Synthesis.
I will also be presenting at the conference, with an update on my own collection of global research activities, The Sustainable Ammonia Synthesis Investment Universe, in which I’ll provide an overview of emerging and disruptive technologies for carbon-free fertilizer and fuel production.
Ammonia as a Fuel
The US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E Program Director, Grigorii Soloveichik, will also be in Europe to discuss Ammonia Synthesis and Use for Energy Applications and to provide updates on the projects funded under the REFUEL program.
All the other presentations in the fuel-use category will provide valuable updates on projects about which we have written extensively, covering work underway in the UK, Japan, Israel, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
Agustin Valera-Medina from Cardiff University will talk about his work developing Ammonia Based Blends for Stable Combustion in Gas Turbines and Engines, which could allow ammonia to “become a breakthrough chemical for power and propulsion generation, storage and distribution of hydrogen.” Also on the topic of gas turbines, Osamu Kurata from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), will provide an update on the Demonstration of NH3 fuelled gas turbine power generation system, describing progress “to increase combustion efficiency and reduce NOx emissions.” And Akihiro Hayakawa from Tohoku University will discuss Flame structure characteristics of swirl stabilized ammonia/air premixed flames.
Bar Mosevitzky of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology will discuss Abatement of urea/ammonium nitrate monofuel combustion effluent, describing the use of a “low carbon monofuel composed of an aqueous solution of urea and ammonium nitrate (UAN) as a renewable hydrogen carrier.”
And from Denmark, Debasish Chakraborty of RenCat Aps will present Ammonia as a H2 source: trace ammonia free H2 generation, enabling the “technology and business of ammonia to power as a replacement for polluting and expensive diesel generators.”
And Niels de Vries from C-Job Naval Architects will introduce the initial results of a new collaboration, which grew out of last year’s conference, for Ammonia as a Renewable Fuel for the Maritime Industry. I’ll be writing more about this next week, to describe their research project, which aims to study the technical feasibility and cost effectiveness of an “Ammonia Carrier Fueled by its own Cargo.”
The full schedule for the 2018 NH3 Event, and information about registering, is available online.