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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.