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The Ammonia Wrap: OCI to charter ammonia-fueled vessels, Japanese CCGT units await ammonia, more green ammonia for Chile, new South Korea and Uruguay updates

Welcome to the Ammonia Wrap: a summary of all the latest announcements, news items and publications about ammonia energy. This week: OCI to charter ammonia-fueled vessels, new carbon-free maritime fuels forecast, Hokkaido Electric postpones CCGT deployment, awaits ammonia, more green ammonia for Chile, Net-zero Teesside to include CF Industries ammonia production, South Korea and Uruguay.

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Certification of low-carbon ammonia: panel wrap-up from the 2020 Ammonia Energy Conference

What are the key considerations that need to be worked through so we can design and implement a certification scheme for low-carbon ammonia that works for a diverse range of stakeholders? On November 17, 2020, the Ammonia Energy Association (AEA) hosted a panel discussion on the topic as part of the recent Ammonia Energy Conference. Not only was it valuable to find out what important players in the ammonia industry want to see in any future certification scheme, but the panel also kicked off a consultation process among AEA members. An audience of around one hundred and fifty producers, end users and researchers all gave their thoughts on what they would like to see in a future scheme, providing a terrific launching point for the AEA Certification Committee to draft, develop and debut a low-carbon ammonia certification scheme.

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Carbon intensity of fossil ammonia in a net-zero world

In discussions of carbon capture technology for low-carbon ammonia production, there are two informal rule-of-thumb numbers: 60% and 90%. We know we can capture, at very little additional cost, over 60% of the CO2 from a natural gas-based ammonia plant because this is the process gas (the byproduct of hydrogen production). Many ammonia plants already utilize this pure CO2 stream to produce urea or to sell as food grade CO2. The remaining CO2 emissions are in the much more dilute flue gas (the product of fuel combustion to power the process). For some decades we have assumed we could capture most of this but the lingering question has always been: how much of that flue gas is economically feasible to capture? A team of researchers at Imperial College London has just published a fascinating study into this question, entitled “Beyond 90% capture: Possible, but at what cost?” The paper quantifies the tipping point — ranging from 90% to 99%, depending on flow rates and concentration — beyond which it is easier to capture CO2 directly from the air than it is to capture more flue gas emissions.

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Flattening the climate risks curve

The COVID-19 pandemic is a human tragedy of epic proportions. It directly affects the life and livelihoods of people all around the world as an unprecedented healthcare and economic crisis. It is clear by now that COVID-19 marks an inflection point or “black swan” event in history that will have a shaping influence on society and the economy for many years to come; a post COVID-19 era will begin. In the same way that the developing renewable energy industry significantly benefited from the economic stimulus packages to address the financial crisis of 2008/2009, we now have the opportunity to kick-start the next important phase of global CO2 emissions reduction through support of the developing CO2 Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) & Clean Hydrogen Economy. Many of these clean technologies have been proven at industrial scale and implementation has started. Still, commercial projects will continue to need financial incentives for broad deployment that will enable accelerated technology maturation and reductions in project risk and cost. With the support from COVID-19 stimulus packages, the private sector will be able to execute CCUS & Clean Hydrogen projects in the near-term, secure and create jobs, grow the economy and mitigate the risk of “green swan” climate change events through significant CO2 emissions reduction.

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The Role of Carbon Capture and Storage Incentives in Ammonia Fuel Production

While the current cost of ammonia produced from hydrogen via steam methane reforming (SMR) of natural gas with carbon capture & storage (CCS) is challenging on an energy basis compared to the price of gasoline, the Clean Air Task Force projects that production of ammonia at optimized, world-scale SMR+CCS facilities could be price-competitive with gasoline in the near future, especially in the right policy environment. Two government programs in the United States—a federal tax incentive known as 45Q and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)—provide immediate and unprecedented opportunities to mitigate the cost premium associated with certain hydrogen production systems.…

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Cost Evaluation Study on CO2-Free Ammonia and Coal Co-Fired Power Generation Integrated with Cost of CCS

This study presents a cost estimation for electricity generated by CO2-free ammonia and coal co-firing. Regulation of CO2 emissions seems to be gaining pace due to the global warming issue so the introduction of CO2-free energy in power generation has become desirable. Ammonia is one of the potential energy carriers for power generation and development of ammonia combustion technology with low NOx emissions has been conducted in Japan. In order to investigate the feasibility of the introduction of CO2-free ammonia in Japan from both the technical and economic viewpoints, we estimated the ammonia supply chain cost from ammonia production integrated…