Article

Japan, Saudi Arabia Explore Trade in Hydrogen, Ammonia

Japan and Saudi Arabia are together exploring the possibility of extracting hydrogen from Saudi crude oil so that it can be transported to Japan in the form of ammonia. According to a synopsis of the planned effort, “one option for Japan’s material contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions [would be] a supply chain for carbon-free hydrogen and ammonia produced through CCS from Saudi Arabian fossil fuels.”  The synopsis emerged from a September 2017 workshop sponsored by Saudi Aramco and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ). 

Article

Ammonia Positioned for Key Role in Japan’s New Hydrogen Strategy

The Japanese government has approved an updated hydrogen strategy which appears to give ammonia the inside track in the race against liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid organic hydride (LOH) energy carrier systems. The announcement was made on December 26, 2017, by the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE), the lead agency on energy policy within the Ministry of Energy, Trade, and Industry (METI). Perhaps the most important indicator of ammonia’s positioning as the lead energy carrier can be seen in the development timelines that are assigned to each energy carrier. The Strategy calls for “CO2-free ammonia” to come into use “by the mid-2020s.”

Article

N-Fuels vs. C-Fuels: Nitrogen “superior” to carbon as a hydrogen carrier

Gideon Grader, a Faculty Dean at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and Bar Mosevitzky, one of the members of his laboratory, spoke in separate talks at the NH3 Energy + Topical Conference about one of the Grader Research Group’s key focuses: nitrogen-based energy carriers.  Grader and his team champion the idea that ammonia can be the starting rather than ending point for nitrogen-containing fuels for heat engines.  The focuses of their research include ammonium hydroxide ammonium nitrate (AAN), ammonium hydroxide urea (AHU), and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN).  As described below, this work is an indispensable addition to the C-fuel vs. N-fuel debate well known to proponents of ammonia energy.  And the Grader team stakes out a position: per the abstract of Grader’s talk, “using nitrogen as a hydrogen carrier can potentially offer a superior option.”

Article

Green Ammonia Consortium: Bright Prospects in Japan for Ammonia as an Energy Carrier

In the last 12 months ... In July 2017, 19 companies and three research institutions came together to form the Green Ammonia Consortium. Before this development, it was unclear whether ammonia would find a significant role in Japan’s hydrogen economy. In the wake of this announcement, however, ammonia seems to have claimed the leading position in the race among potential energy carriers.

Article

Japanese Cabinet Office Holds Energy Carriers Symposium

Ammonia energy received favorable notice at the Energy Carriers "Open Symposium" held on July 26 by the Cabinet Office of the Japan Government.  Hydrogen energy carriers are a key focus of Japan's Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program.  The event took place at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.  An observer estimated that approximately 400 attendees were present.

Article

Japan-Brunei MCH Energy Carrier Demonstration

Chiyoda Corporation, the multinational chemical engineering firm that is arguably the leading proponent of the methyl cyclohexane (MCH) method of hydrogen transport, will start work this month on a project to demonstrate MCH technology in a real-world context.  As reported in a July 27 company press release, the project will involve the transportation of hydrogen from Brunei to Japan in what the company states is "the world's first global hydrogen supply chain demonstration project" -- an assertion that many ammonia energy proponents will no doubt find preposterous.

Paper

Investigating and Understanding Ionic Ammine Materials

Ammonia has been promoted as a viable candidate as an indirect hydrogen fuel vector, due to its high hydrogen content (17.8 wt%) and its ability to store 30% more energy per liquid volume than liquid hydrogen [1]. Ammonia can be safely stored in very high gravimetric and volumetric density in solid state halide materials [2-3], for example, at 109 gL-1 for Mg(NH3)6Cl2 compared to 108 gL-1 for liquid ammonia. These solid state ammonia coordination complexes, known as ammines, have attracted much recent attention (for examples see [4-5] and references there within) with a view to their use as solid state…

Paper

Liquid Ammonia for Hydrogen Storage

Hydrogen storage and transportation technology is essentially necessary to realize hydrogen economy. Hydrogen can be stored in many different forms, as compressed or liquefied hydrogen in tanks, or as hydrogen carriers: a hydrogen-absorbing alloy, metal hydrides with light elements, organic hydrides and carbon-based hydrogen storage materials. Among them, solid-state hydrides with light elements such as MgH2, Mg(BH4)2 and NH3BH3 possess high hydrogen capacity, 7-20 mass%, However, the practical volumetric H2 density is below 8 kgH2/100L because the packing ratio is down to 50%. Ammonia is easily liquefied by compression at 1 MPa and 25°C, and has a high volumetric hydrogen…

Paper

Ammonia as an Energy Carrier for Renewable Energy

At present, ammonia is mostly formed through reforming of natural gas (CH4). A 1,000 ton per day plant is said to consume about 35 GJ of natural gas to produce 1 ton of ammonia (22.5 GJ of enthalpy). About 50% of extra energy is wasted. If 1 ton ammonia is produced through water electrolysis, 22.5 GJ of electricity is necessary theoretically. Here again, extra electric energy must be wasted. The author discusses roughly how the efficiency depends upon the process size and the renewable energy cost.