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NASA, Boeing, UCF to study zero-carbon ammonia jet fuel

A $10 million, five-year NASA University Leadership Initiative grant will allow an academic-industry team to develop new ammonia-fed jet engines. Researchers at the University of Central Florida will lead a team including collaborators from Georgia Tech, Purdue University, GE and Boeing. The proposed design uses liquid ammonia fuel, which is cracked to release hydrogen, which will be burned by the engine. The team is using the Boeing 737-8 aircraft as a baseline for the design.

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Recovering ammonia fuel from wastewater & agricultural waste

This week we look at three new ammonia recovery projects:

1. A team from the Delft University of Technology has demonstrated that ammonia recovery via vacuum membrane stripping of a wastewater feed can be used to power a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC).

2. In the UK, a new consortium including the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the University of Leeds has received government funding to demonstrate a novel solution to harvest green ammonia from pig waste.

3. A team from the Ukrainian National University of Food Technology has proposed a new method of sourcing useable ammonia fuel from poultry waste via anaerobic digestion.

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ZeroCoaster: ammonia-fueled cargo shipping

AFC Energy has designed a developed a containerised, integrated, ammonia-fed propulsion system that will power the new "ZeroCoaster" vessel design. The ZeroCoaster consortium, led by Vard Engineering and including ABB, Trosvik Maritime, SINTEF Ocean and HK Shipping (plus support from the Norweigian government) is developing the next generation of coastal bulk cargo carriers. With the propulsion system design in place, DNV GL granted commercial Approval in Principle to the ZeroCoaster design this week, allowing the consortium to begin discussions with potential buyers.

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Green ammonia port hubs in the UK and Australia

H2 Green will develop a renewable energy hub at the Port of Shoreham in West Sussex. The initial focus will be the electrification and use of hydrogen fuel in the Port's vehicle fleet (heavy forklifts and trucks), before expanding to accommodate the ~800 heavy goods vehicles that enter the port daily. The second phase will be an ammonia import facility to meet growing demands for hydrogen fuel in the surrounds. In Australia, the Geelong Hydrogen Hub will be developed by CAC-H2, a developer who is also planning two carbon-negative, waste-to-ammonia projects in Australia. The Geelong Hub includes multiple, new-build infrastructure elements including import/export & cracking facilities. Similar to Shoreham, import of green ammonia to meet growing demand for hydrogen fuel is the second phase of the project.

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New UK joint venture for lightweight, modular ammonia crackers

Reaction Engines, IP Group, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) launched a new joint venture this week at COP26 in Glasgow. The group will design and commercialise lightweight, modular ammonia cracking reactors to enable the use of ammonia in hard-to-decarbonise sectors, particularly aviation, shipping and off-grid power generation applications. The design will feature Reaction Engines’ heat exchanger technology developed for its SABRE™ air-breathing rocket engine. In this setup, exhaust heat is utilised to partially crack ammonia back into a fuel blend that "mimics" jet fuel. STFC will lead development of the cracking catalyst, with funding to be provided by IP Group.

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Starfire Energy’s Prometheus ammonia cracking technology

The lowest cost way to use ammonia as a fuel is as an intact NH3 molecule. However, its slow flame speed can cause challenges managing flame stability, ammonia slip, and nitrogen oxide formation. Some fuel cells also require hydrogen, rather than ammonia. Ammonia cracking can solve these problems by providing either a NH3 + H2 + N2 blend or, with appropriate processing, pure hydrogen. Starfire Energy’s Prometheus cracking technology is a unique approach that uses an oxide catalyst bonded to a metal foil substrate. It provides excellent opportunities to power the cracking reaction with both waste combustion heat or purpose-generated…

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The Future of Ammonia Cracking

The global energy sector stands before a massive transformation, going from the present state mainly driven by fossil-based resources and changing into a green future where renewable power will take over as the key energy source. In this transformation new market arises and new technologies are needed. One example is the ammonia cracking technology which only has limited use today. One key issue to solve in the future is the mismatch between where renewable power is available and where energy is needed. Today electrolysis is being commercialized in great scale transforming renewable power into hydrogen. As hydrogen is very complicated…

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Photocatalytic Decomposition of Ammonia

In its recently released 6th assessment report, the International Panel on Climate Change  unequivocally stated that human activity is the primary driver of observed global warming effects over the  past 150 years. Broad alignment with this assertion by the public and private sectors has been the driving  force behind decarbonization efforts and various net-zero emissions goals. To date, decarbonization has  focused on increasing renewable power capacity and electrification of mobility with few solutions provided  for “hard-to-abate” sectors (transport, shipping, aviation, and heavy industry (cement, steel, and chemicals))  that are reliant on inexpensive petrochemicals as fuels / feedstocks and contribute nearly…

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Catalytic Membrane Reactor for H2-Production from Ammonia

The ability to store massive amounts of dispatchable energy is key for the development of reliable and flexible energy systems, particularly under the new energy concept where large renewable power plants increasingly farther from end users will operate together with distributed wind and solar power plants. Massive energy storage enables a wide set of features ranging from improved supply and demand adjustment, increased system reliability and decarbonization of energy intensive sectors including heating services, industry, and transport. Within this framework, green hydrogen outstands as a key solution to unleash the full potential of renewable energy sources to decarbonize energy applications…