3rd generation ammonia synthesis: new catalysts & production pathways

We look at four new developments this week:

1. A team from DTU Energy and the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics have uncovered a new class of alternative catalysts for mild condition ammonia synthesis. The ternary ruthenium complex hydrides Li4RuH6 and Ba2RuH6 avoid the energy-intensive pathway of nitrogen dissociation in a "synergistic" manner.

2. A team from the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials reported a highly selective (95%) plasma ammonia synthesis method.

3. A team from Delft University of Technology has presented an present an "unconventional electrochemical design" that physically separates hydrogen and dinitrogen activation sites.

4. A team at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research has demonstrated a new mechanochemical ammonia synthesis system that operates at room temperature and pressures as low as 1 bar.


South Korea sets targets for hydrogen & ammonia power generation

South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced ammonia coal co-combustion will be operational in over half the country's coal-fired power generating units by 2030. The government has already set a target of 13.8 - 21.5% of national power generation coming from hydrogen & ammonia-fed gas turbines by 2050 (the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Roadmap was approved in October). To help drive the required commercialisation & technology deployment, MOTIE, KEPCO and other Korean power utilities will collaborate in a ‘Hydrogen and Ammonia Power Generation Demonstration Promotion Group’. In supply news, South Korean oil & gas major GS Energy announced this week is will join ADNOC and Japan-based Mitsui & Co. to develop the million tonne per year blue ammonia project in Al Ruwais, UAE.


Woodside outlines scale for green ammonia project in Tasmania

Woodside Energy secured land this week for its H2TAS project in Bell Bay, Tasmania. A long-term lease on a partially-cleared project site nearby the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone will be home to up to 1.7 GW of electrolysers, and a target production of 200,000 tonnes per year green ammonia. Last month Woodside also announced the H2Perth project: a world-scale, 1,500 tonnes per day hydrogen production facility aimed at local markets for refueling fuel cell vehicles, and international markets via export in the form of liquefied hydrogen or ammonia.


Korean shipbuilders embrace ammonia-fueled solutions

Two announcements this week: i) Samsung Heavy Industries and Wärtsilä have agreed to jointly to develop new-build vessels with 4-stroke, ammonia-fueled auxiliary engines; and ii) Bureau Veritas has awarded Approval in Principle to Hyundai Heavy Industries and KSOE for their new, ammonia-fueled vessel design.


Hyundai Glovis to begin shipping ammonia

Korean logistics organisation Hyundai Glovis will ship LPG and ammonia from 2024 as part of a new ten-year agreement signed with Swiss-based commodity trader Trafigura. Glovis will spend around US$170 million on two new very large gas carriers (VLGCs) designed to carry both LPG and ammonia.


H2 Challenge launched to fund hydrogen & ammonia innovation

Applications are now open for the H2 Challenge - an initiative set to identify the best hydrogen-related projects from across the globe for funding support. The Challenge is open for applications from: International startups from Pre-Seed to Series C+ stages, university teams/academia and strategic partners (established SMEs) that develop hardware and/or software solutions across multiple use cases and projects within the hydrogen value chain - Production, Transportation & Storage, End-use Applications, Carbon Capture Utilisation & Storage, or Ammonia Applications.