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Ammonia cracking: when, how, and how much?

Cracking ammonia to produce hydrogen underpins many of the fuel-based uses of ammonia, and as such is a lynchpin technology in the case for ammonia energy. While in many ways ammonia cracking is a mature technology, systems which are designed specifically for these applications are less common. In this presentation, a general overview of the potential roles of ammonia cracking in facilitating the use of ammonia for energy applications will be outlined, including a survey of established and emerging cracking and purification technologies. A forthcoming project to produce an AEA Ammonia Cracking Technical Paper will be introduced.

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Starfire Energy’s ammonia cracking and cracked gas purification technology

Ammonia cracking is important for both combustion and fuel cell applications. Starfire Energy has verified that a blend of 70% ammonia + 30% cracked ammonia can burn well in a conventional natural gas burner with very low ammonia slip and acceptable NOx using a stoichiometric fuel-air mixture. A 10 MW turbine or internal combustion engine using such a blend will need about 1.44 tonnes of cracked ammonia per hour. Starfire Energy’s monolith-supported cracking catalyst may be ideally suited for this application. Fully cracked ammonia retains several thousand parts per million of ammonia due to thermodynamic limitations. Residual ammonia can damage…

Article

Zero emission aircraft: ammonia for aviation

This week, Reaction Engines announced a “ground-breaking study” on ammonia as a fuel for zero-emission aircraft. This will soon be followed by a demonstration project, “integrating the technology into a ground-based test engine.” The study combines Reaction Engines’ heat exchanger technology with the ammonia cracking technology being developed by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). By partially cracking green ammonia to hydrogen, the resulting ammonia fuel mix “mimics jet fuel,” making it possible to adapt existing engines and aircraft to use zero-emission fuels. “This means a fast transition to a sustainable aviation future is possible at low cost.”

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Engie, Siemens, Ecuity, and STFC publish Feasibility of Ammonia-to-Hydrogen

The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) recently published the feasibility study for its Ammonia to Green Hydrogen Project. This studies the techno-economic feasibility of importing green ammonia in order to supply large volumes of high-purity low-carbon hydrogen in the UK. The project has been designed and delivered by a heavyweight consortium of ENGIE, Siemens, Ecuity Consulting, and the UK’s STFC. The feasibility study, which is publicly available, represents the conclusion of Phase One of this project. Phase Two is demonstration: “to raise the TRL of a lithium imide based ammonia cracker from 4 to 6/7,” meaning that the technology is ready for deployment.

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Hydrogen Filling Stations: techno-economic analysis of on-site ammonia reforming and H2 purification

This month, a team of researchers from Fuzhou University in Fujian, China, published a new paper in the journal Sustainable Energy & Fuels that provides a “Techno-economic analysis and comprehensive optimization of an on-site hydrogen refuelling station system using ammonia.” The study concludes that “the H2 production cost of the NH3-fed on-site hydrogen refuelling station was at least 15% lower than other carbon-free routes (such as electrolysis, solar thermolysis, photo-electrolysis, etc.), and comparable to that of a methane steam reforming system with carbon capture and storage.”

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Ammonia As Hydrogen Carrier to Unlock the Full Potential of Green Renewables

For decades, grid-scale energy storage has been used to balance load and demand within an energy generation system composed mainly of base load power sources enabling thus to large nuclear or thermal generating plant to operate at peak efficiencies. Energy storage has contributed over the time to meet peak demand and regulate frequency beside peak fossil fuel power plant who usually provided the bulk of the required energy. In the aforementioned context where inherent variability of the power generation asset was mainly a minor issue, energy storage capacity remains nevertheless limited for economic reason storing electricity during low electricity demand…