Production technology updates: from mega-scale to distributed ammonia

Recently, KBR launched its Ammonia 10,000 technology for newbuild ammonia plants, tripling the largest available single train capacity to 10,000 metric tonnes per day. In our latest Technology Insights article, we explore the other pieces of the puzzle required for mega-scale ammonia, as well as some updates from the other end of the spectrum, with three distributed, small-scale ammonia synthesis systems under development in North America.


Exhaust gas treatment catalysts for ammonia-fueled engines

Ammonia is expected to be a promising zero-emission fuel because it does not emit CO2 during combustion. However, the exhaust gas from the actual ammonia-fueled engines contains unburned ammonia, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and nitrous oxide (N2O), and there is a need to develop technologies to remove these harmful substances. Unburned ammonia can be removed by a catalytic combustion method using a conventional oxidation catalyst, but NOx and N2O are simultaneously generated as byproducts. Therefore, Nikki-Universal has developed a new catalyst that can remove ammonia at high efficiency while reducing the generation of NOx and N2O. We have also developed a…


Advanced technologies powering green ammonia R&D

Fujitsu has been working to find innovative solutions within the energy transition that would benefit from the company’s extensive experience in high performance computing (HPC), AI, quantum computation, materials science, molecular dynamics, and nanoscale materials development. Fujitsu has identified green ammonia as a field with technical challenges that could be addressed by the company’s unique capabilities and has partnered with an Icelandic start-up, Atmonia, to leverage HPC and AI technology in advancing electrochemical ammonia synthesis technology. This talk will provide an overview of the role of advanced technologies to speed up green ammonia R&D.


Sunborne Systems: bringing keystone technologies to market for the global zero-carbon energy infrastructure

At Sunborne Systems, we are developing zero-carbon ammonia-based solutions for heavy transport and high-energy industrial applications. Our keystone technologies are initially focussed on early opportunities in the maritime industry and have high disruption potential across multiple other hard-to-abate sectors. Sunborne Systems was announced a year ago at COP26 in Glasgow and is a joint venture technology company formed by STFC, Reaction Engines and IP Group building upon the technical strengths of Reaction Engines and STFC in thermal management and catalyst chemistry and their in-common expertise in system design and optimisation.


AI & High-Performance Computing for ammonia catalyst R&D

Fujitsu and Iceland-based Atmonia will join forces to accelerate catalyst development for the production of ammonia via electrochemical nitrogen reduction reaction (eNRR). By using artificial intelligence and high-performance computing (HPC) technologies, the researchers can conduct “high-speed quantum chemical calculations” virtually rather than via physical experiments, allowing for greater flexibility & speed.


JERA targets 50% ammonia-coal co-firing by 2030

Japanese government funding via NEDO will support four critical ammonia energy projects, including JERA's new plan to demonstrate 50% ammonia-coal co-firing by 2030. Other projects include improved catalysts for ammonia production, low-temperature and low-pressure synthesis pathways, and developing 100% ammonia-fed boilers and gas turbines. In addition, a new cooperation agreement between ASEAN countries will see Japan support other members to adopt their ammonia energy solutions, particularly coal co-firing.


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.


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.