Comparative Technoeconomic Analysis of Conventional and Absorbent-Enhanced Ammonia Synthesis

Ammonia is the second-most produced synthetic chemical and the main precursor for nitrogen-based fertilizer. In 2015, 160 million tons were produced globally, and global demand is expected to grow 1.5% annually until 2050 [1]. However, traditional ammonia production uses natural gas or coal as its hydrogen source, and as a result, is also responsible for more than 1% of global GHG emissions and 5% of global natural gas consumption [2]. Clearly, a more sustainable ammonia production scheme is needed. One such alternative is obtain hydrogen from electrolysis powered by wind- or solar-derived electricity. It has been proposed to perform this…


Arpa-E Refuel Program: Distributed Production of Ammonia and Its Conversion to Energy

Ammonia, which has high energy density in easily produced liquid form and can be converted to electric or motive power, is considered to be an almost ideal non-carbon energy vector in addition to its common use as a fertilizer. It can be manufactured anywhere using the Haber-Bosch process, effectively stored, transported and used in combustion engines and fuel cells as well as a hydrogen carrier. Transition from fossil fuels as the energy source and feedstock to intermittent renewable energy sources will require a shift from large scale Haber-Bosch plants (1,000 – 1,500 t/day) to distributed ammonia production matching electrical power…


Ammonia Production Can be Practically Free

As a prototype I take Green ammonia: Haldor Topsoe’s solid oxide electrolyzer ( ) to produce synthesis-gas (1/2 N2 + 1.5 H2 ) for ammonia production from air, water and renewable energy. The big disadvantage of it is very expensive CAPEX of the electrolyzer consuming 7.2 MWh electricity per a ton of ammonia. In my turn, I suppose a following technology consuming 7.0-7.4 MWh electricity to produce ammonia with by-product of 0.4 ton formaldehyde solution (40% in water) being now USD 300-350/ton fob price, considered as that ammonia payback including CAPEX. The world annual consume of formaldehyde exceeds 10…


Starfire Energy’s 10 Kg/Day Rapid Ramp NH3 System Development

Starfire Energy is building a 10 kg/day NH3 synthesis system using its low pressure Rapid Ramp NH3 process. The system includes hydrogen production by proton exchange membrane electrolyzer, nitrogen production by pressure swing adsorption, NH3 synthesis, and liquid NH3 storage. The tight coupling of the hydrogen, nitrogen, and NH3 processes require minimal reactant buffering. The system design, status, and preliminary performance will be discussed.


Demonstration and Optimization of Green Ammonia Production Operation Responding to Fluctuating Hydrogen Production from Renewable Energy

Ammonia is a promising hydrogen carrier to transport green hydrogen from overseas to Japan at lower cost and resulting in lower lifecycle CO2 emission. Low carbon ammonia will be produced by fossil fuel reforming with CCS or EOR at the early stage of the introduction of ammonia fuel to the market. Green ammonia production from renewable sources is the ultimate goal, but there are some issues to commercialize. The low capacity factor, which is caused by the fluctuation of solar irradiation or wind speed, is a big issue which leads to ammonia production costs. In this presentation, we would like…


Ammonia plant revamp to decarbonize: Yara Pilbara

This week, Yara announced major progress toward producing "green ammonia" at its plant in Pilbara, Australia. Its new partner in this project is ENGIE, the global energy and services group, which last year made a major commitment to developing large-scale renewable hydrogen projects. I first reported Yara's plans for a solar ammonia demonstration at its Pilbara plant in September 2017. This week's announcement means that the Pilbara project has moved to the next feasibility phase. However, major elements of the project have already been designed and built: during last year's scheduled turnaround for plant maintenance, the hydrogen piping tie-in was completed - meaning that the Haber-Bosch unit is ready to receive hydrogen directly, as soon as an electrolyzer has been built to supply it with renewable feedstock.