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Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Ammonia As Green Energy Carrier

Well-known environmental concerns, new directives and tighter regulations drive the development of new industrial processes with lower carbon emissions and reduced fossil fuel consumptions. Among those processes, ammonia production accounts for a significant share of about 1% of global CO2 emissions (Brown, 2016). Ammonia seems to be a promising carbon free energy carrier with high energy density and already available infrastructure distribution with respect to other carbon free solutions (e.g. hydrogen). Within this framework, Casale developed a new patented process, A6000CC (WO2018/149641), to convert natural gas to ammonia with reduced CO2 emissions to atmosphere, as low as less than 0.2…

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Life-cycle analysis of green ammonia and its application as fertilizer building block

Conventionally, ammonia is produced from natural gas via steam methane reforming, water-gas shift reaction, and Haber-Bosch process. The process uses fossil fuels extensively and leads to 2.7 ton of CO2 emission per ton ammonia produced. With ammonia being the second largest chemical produced in the world, its production accounts for approximately 2% of worldwide fossil fuel use and generates over 420 million tons of CO2 annually. To decarbonize the ammonia sector, green ammonia synthesis pathways are of increasing interest. Green ammonia originates from air, water, and renewable electricity, and thus could be produced with low or zero carbon emissions. Since…

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Process Synthesis and Global Optimization of Novel Ammonia Production Processes

Synthetic ammonia production has played a huge role in sustaining population growth by providing the nitrogen in fertilizers that are widely used in modern agriculture. Even long after it was first commercially developed by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch in the 1930s, the Haber-Bosch process remains the basis for industrial ammonia production today. Through reducing energy requirements by half in the last 50 years, centralized industrial plants have kept their technical and economic advantage over other modes of operation. However, the centralized production also comes with high transportation costs, since plant capacities usually exceed local ammonia consumption [1]. This and…

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Load Range Enhancement of Haber-Bosch Process Designs for NH3 Sustainable Energy Storage By Multi-Parametric Optimization

With the world’s major shift towards renewable energy, the need of chemicals-based energy storage has drastically increased, as renewable energy is intermittent and energy storage medium is required. Among several chemical energy storage options, ammonia is promising for renewable energy on utility-scale. The Haber-Bosch ammonia synthesis was the first heterogeneous catalytic system employed in the chemical industry and developed over a period of century. However, the conventional ammonia process has been designed and optimized for steady state operation and high capacity. Power-to-ammonia requires a more flexible operation, small size reactors and decentralized production. The impact of adjustable parameters, such as,…

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Key Life Cycle Assessment Numbers for NH3, Green and Brown Energy

This talk will present the results of two recent studies. In the first study, four different ammonia production methods are comparatively evaluated using life cycle assessment (LCA). The proposed ammonia production systems consist of an electrolyzer for hydrogen production and a Haber-Bosch plant for ammonia synthesis. The required energy for the systems are utilized from various resources namely hydropower, nuclear, biomass and municipal waste. Life cycle assessment methodology is used to identify and quantify environmental impacts in global warming potential, human toxicity and abiotic depletion categories of each method during the life cycle of the systems. The proposed non-conventional ammonia…

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The Investment Case for Sustainable Ammonia Synthesis Technologies

For 100 years, we have made ammonia with the Haber-Bosch process, almost always using a fossil fuel feedstock. Recently, though, government policy, academic innovation, commercial opportunity, and human morality have combined to spur the development of new, “green” ammonia manufacturing processes: sustainable, low-carbon technologies. These new synthesis methods augur a future in which, instead of the single, over-riding drive toward the economies of scale associated with Haber-Bosch, an array of different feedstocks, uses, and business models will support a multiplicity of competing technologies serving multiple markets. This presentation aims to introduce the factors affecting the appetite for commercialization and adoption…