Ammonia as a Key to Meeting the Fuel Demand of China


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Currently, China is facing a challenge of increasing its energy consumption and simultaneously decreasing its emissions. Particularly, the desire of owning a car is so strong in China that it cannot be easily mitigated by high pricing or taxing. This paper presents the statistical results of fuel consumption in China and predicts the fuel demand in near future, it then compares the fuel demand of China with the fuel production scale of the world. It is concluded that China must utilize clean alternative fuels to meet the fast increasing demand for automotive fuels.

The price, distribution infrastructure, and thermodynamic properties of methanol, ethanol, biodiesel, and ammonia are analyzed in order to assess the feasibility of implementing them as clean alternative fuels.

The analysis results suggest that ammonia is probably the most realistic and clean fuel that can be utilized for the near future of China due to its significantly lower price than gasoline and diesel in China. This is also because China has the largest ammonia production scale and most convenient distribution infrastructure in the world, as ammonia is one of the most important fertilizers in China to assure the food supply. The analysis of the thermodynamic properties of the aforementioned fuels indicates that the high miscibility of ammonia and methanol, ethanol and biodiesel may facilitate the usage of fuel mixture of ammonia-methanol, ammonia-ethanol, or ammonia-biodiesel. This may simplify the fueling system and increasing engine’s combustion efficiency.