Article

CSIRO at Work on SOEC Technology

Earlier this month the on-line trade journal gasworld published an interview with CSIRO's Ani Kulkarni that illuminated a research program focused on solid oxide electrolysis technology. The takeaway is that the CSIRO program is making progress that can, in Kulkarni’s words, “elevate this technology from the lab bench to become cost-effective at an industrial scale.”

Article

Green Ammonia Consortium: A Force for Ammonia Energy

Japan’s Green Ammonia Consortium, an industry body dedicated to building “a value chain from supply to use of CO2-free ammonia,” launched its Web site on December 5. The site features plenty of interesting content, but most significant may be the roster of members. Eighty seven companies, public organizations, and individuals are listed. Taken together they represent a significant force for ammonia energy implementation in Japan and beyond.

Article

Israeli Group Develops New Electrolysis Technology

Last month a group of researchers from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology published a paper, “Decoupled hydrogen and oxygen evolution by a two-step electrochemical–chemical cycle for efficient overall water splitting,” in the journal Nature Energy.  The key word in the title is “efficient.”  In a September 15 Technion press release, the researchers state that their technology “facilitates an unprecedented energetic efficiency of 98.7% in the production of hydrogen from water.”  Applied to the appropriate use case, the technology could lead to a major improvement in green ammonia’s ability to compete with brown ammonia and other low-carbon energy carriers.

Article

GenCell A5 update: hydrogen power from ammonia fuel cells (“The Next Big Thing in Energy Production”)

GenCell Energy, an Israeli technology company, recently announced a research collaboration with Fraunhofer UMSICHT, a German research institute, that will deliver a "scale-up of the catalyst synthesis process" for cracking ammonia. This will enable GenCell "to produce large quantities of a novel inexpensive catalyst for generation of hydrogen from ammonia."

Article

Fossil Energy Companies Turn to Ammonia

In the last 12 months ... National oil companies in Europe and the Middle East are looking to satisfy East Asian demand for clean hydrogen by exporting carbon-free ammonia. One of the biggest global LNG exporters is investigating ammonia for the same market, as it considers Australia's future as a renewable energy exporter. Oil majors are assessing ammonia's role in implementing an affordable hydrogen economy, looking toward fuel markets in California and Europe. And the biggest coal producer in China is funding the development of "the world’s first practical ammonia-powered vehicle."

Article

Ammonia for Fuel Cells: AFC, SOFC, and PEM

In the last 12 months ... IHI Corporation tested its 1 kW ammonia-fueled solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) in Japan; Project Alkammonia concluded its work on cracked-ammonia-fed alkaline fuel cells (AFC) in the EU; the University of Delaware's project for low-temperature direct ammonia fuel cells (DAFC) continues with funding from the US Department of Energy's ARPA-E; and, in Israel, GenCell launched its commercial 4 kW ammonia-fed AFC with field demonstrations at up to 800 locations across Kenya.

Article

GenCell launches commercial alkaline fuel cell using cracked ammonia fuel

GenCell Energy, the Israeli fuel cell manufacturer, has made two major announcements in the last month. In June, it unveiled its ammonia-fueled alkaline fuel cell system. In July, it announced its first commercial customer. Its A5 Off-Grid Power Solution is a "nano power plant that operates fully independent of the grid." The first phase of product trials, using ammonia as a fuel to provide uninterruptible power to cell phone masts, will begin in Kenya by the end of this year, and "product roll-out" is expected in the second half of 2019.

Article

Japan, Saudi Arabia Explore Trade in Hydrogen, Ammonia

Japan and Saudi Arabia are together exploring the possibility of extracting hydrogen from Saudi crude oil so that it can be transported to Japan in the form of ammonia. According to a synopsis of the planned effort, “one option for Japan’s material contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions [would be] a supply chain for carbon-free hydrogen and ammonia produced through CCS from Saudi Arabian fossil fuels.”  The synopsis emerged from a September 2017 workshop sponsored by Saudi Aramco and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ). 

Article

N-Fuels vs. C-Fuels: Nitrogen “superior” to carbon as a hydrogen carrier

Gideon Grader, a Faculty Dean at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and Bar Mosevitzky, one of the members of his laboratory, spoke in separate talks at the NH3 Energy + Topical Conference about one of the Grader Research Group’s key focuses: nitrogen-based energy carriers.  Grader and his team champion the idea that ammonia can be the starting rather than ending point for nitrogen-containing fuels for heat engines.  The focuses of their research include ammonium hydroxide ammonium nitrate (AAN), ammonium hydroxide urea (AHU), and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN).  As described below, this work is an indispensable addition to the C-fuel vs. N-fuel debate well known to proponents of ammonia energy.  And the Grader team stakes out a position: per the abstract of Grader’s talk, “using nitrogen as a hydrogen carrier can potentially offer a superior option.”