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Ammonia combustion analysis: powertrains, turbines & power generation

This week we explore four updates in ammonia combustion R&D:

1. A team from the University of Cambridge has shown merchant vessels are the strongest candidates for conversion to run on ammonia powertrains, with cargo capacity losses of 4-9% able to be feasibly offset by operators.

2. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have successfully tested a thermochemical recuperation (TCR) reactor to improve the efficiency of a dual-fuel, diesel-ammonia compression ignition engine by minimising ammonia slip.

3. A global team led by Cardiff University researchers has revealed some of the inner workings of ammonia combustion in gas turbine flames.

4. A global team has produced a cradle-to-gate environmental assessment for ammonia production and ammonia-based electricity generation, suggesting that renewable and nuclear ammonia have a significant role to play in decarbonising the power sector.

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Decarbonising fertiliser production in Iowa via CCS

Navigator will provide carbon transport and storage services to decarbonise OCI's Iowa Fertilizer Company plant via the newly-announced Heartland Greenway CCS system. In the first phase, 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be captured from process gas at the plant beginning in 2024. This equates to production of 300,000 tonnes of blue ammonia.

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CF Industries invests in blue ammonia capacity in the US

CF Industries' Board has approved $285 million of investment into blue ammonia production at two of its US plants - Donaldsonville and Yazoo City. By 2024 the new works will enable annual production of 1.25 million tonnes blue ammonia. Once finished, the units could sequester up to 2.5 million tons of CO2 per year (2 million tons at Donaldsonville and 500,000 tons at Yazoo City).

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Fortescue Future Industries powers ahead on green ammonia

Fortescue Future Industries has been hitting the Ammonia Energy headlines of late. All of these various announcements point towards a singular target, announced in June by Fortescue Chairman Andrew Forrest: the supply of 15 million tonnes green hydrogen to global markets by 2030. Taken on their own these are significant steps, but COP26 was also the stage for a number of other significant ammonia and hydrogen-related announcements by FFI. Over the last fortnight we've seen the launch of green ammonia production projects in Papua New Guinea, Jordan & Argentina, buyers announced for a full 10% of FFI's global green hydrogen production, a partnership to decarbonise aviation and more developments in the electrolyser space.