Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Ammonia As Green Energy Carrier

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Abstract

Well-known environmental concerns, new directives and tighter regulations drive the development of new industrial processes with lower carbon emissions and reduced fossil fuel consumptions. Among those processes, ammonia production accounts for a significant share of about 1% of global CO2 emissions (Brown, 2016). Ammonia seems to be a promising carbon free energy carrier with high energy density and already available infrastructure distribution with respect to other carbon free solutions (e.g. hydrogen).

Within this framework, Casale developed a new patented process, A6000CC (WO2018/149641), to convert natural gas to ammonia with reduced CO2 emissions to atmosphere, as low as less than 0.2 MTCO2/MTNH3 to stack, which is about 80% lower with respect to Best Available Technologies (IFA, 2009). The new process has been optimized to reach high single train capacity, 7000MTPD NH3, along with low specific fuel consumptions.

This new process reaches a carbon capture even higher than 90%, considering both ammonia process and utilities, without the inclusion of a dedicated CDR unit for post-combustion carbon capture of flue gases. Decarbonization targets are reached basing on a pre-combustion strategy, where syngas is partially used as (syn)fuel.

High production capacity allows the use of low-carbon ammonia as multipurpose energy carrier produced at large scale in locations where high availability and low cost of natural gas occur, and where captured CO2 can be stored (CCS) or has a market value for utilization (e.g. EOR).

References

T. Brown, 2016. Ammonia production causes 1% of total global GHG emissions, Ammonia Industry.

F. Baratto, R. Ostuni, 2018. Process for the synthesis of ammonia with low emissions of CO2 in atmosphere. WO2018/149641.

International Fertilizers Association (IFA), 2009. Energy Efficiency and CO2 Emissions in Ammonia Production, 2008-2009 Summary Report.

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