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The Ammonia Wrap: Ørsted’s P2X vision for the North Sea, Gunvor’s new sustainability commitments, the finance world backs green hydrogen and Hydrofuel-Ontario Tech’s new partnership

Welcome to the Ammonia Wrap: a summary of all the latest announcements, news items and publications about ammonia energy. This week: Ørsted unveils its P2X vision for the North Sea, energy trader Gunvor commits $500 million to sustainability, emissions reductions, finance world backs green hydrogen, Hydrofuel and Ontario Tech join forces and a new blue hydrogen/ammonia collaboration.

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Yara’s green ammonia project YURI gets further boosts

There were two new funding announcements last week concerning Yara’s YURI renewable ammonia project, to be built next to their Pilbara fertiliser plant in Western Australia. The Pilbara ammonia plant is an ideal demonstration site for green hydrogen and green ammonia at an industrial scale. This export-oriented plant has an annual capacity of 850,000 tons per year of ammonia, representing about 5% of the world’s merchant ammonia supply, and while the current site uses natural gas as fuel and feedstock it is situated adjacent to rich solar and wind energy resources. These announcements show that interest in YURI is strong from Australian local, state, and federal governments, with more funding opportunities in the pipeline.

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Solar ammonia, available in Spain from 2021

Last week, Iberdrola and Fertiberia announced plans to start producing green ammonia for “fertilizantes libres de emisiones” (emission-free fertilizers). Iberdrola will invest EUR 150 million to build the 100 MW “Puertollano II” solar field, with a 20 MW electrolyzer bank to produce renewable hydrogen. Fertiberia will “update and modify” its existing Puertollano plant to consume this green hydrogen, reducing its natural gas use by “over 10%,” and producing green ammonia beginning in 2021.

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Decarbonized Ammonia for Food and Energy

Yara, the Crop nutrition company for the future, established several new business units to sustainably feed the world and protect the planet. Within the segment New Business – Decarbonize Yara – will focus on the main aspects of green house gas emissions in the value chain. Decarbonized ammonia, through the renewable hydrogen route, has several carbon footprint advantages. Fertilizer production will reduce CO2 emissions, the derived nitrate based fertilizer has a lower carbon footprint at field application than other fertilzers and renewable ammonia can be used as an energy carrier (energy storage and (in-)direct fuel). The presentation will cover a…

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Simulation of an Ammonia Plant Integrated with the Allam Cycle for Commercial Production of Ammonia and Power

The continuous global economic and population growth results in a fast-paced energy demand and problematic emission green house gases such as CO2. To cost-effectively reduce CO2 emissions with the current main energy source of fossil fuels, novel carbon capture and utilization technologies have to be developed. One of such promising technologies is the Allam cycle power plant developed by a consortium led by Net Power LLC. Even though the human population is expected to reach about 9.2 billion by 2050,, the land availability for farming at that time could only keep the current level or even decrease. Thus, the demand…

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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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The fertilizer industry is learning to love green ammonia

ANNUAL REVIEW 2019: Green ammonia is no longer a lonely venture for Yara, which used to appear alone among fertilizer producers in its desire to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from ammonia plants. While dozens of green ammonia demonstration projects and prototype technologies have been demonstrated in recent years, this progress was mostly achieved by energy companies and technology start-ups - and Yara. In the last year, however, fertilizer producers on five continents have begun feasibility studies, launched pilot demonstrations, or simply gone ahead and re-engineered their ammonia plants to replace fossil fuel inputs with renewable hydrogen.

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Green Ammonia Plants in Chile, Australia, New Zealand

Green ammonia plants are being announced quicker than I can report. Here is a summary of four new projects that propose to use electrolyzers, fed by renewable power, to produce hydrogen for ammonia production. These are big companies, operating in regions with excellent renewable resources, making significant investments in their future. In Chile, it is Enaex, a major ammonium nitrate manufacturer, supplying explosives to the mining industry. In Australia, it is Incitec Pivot, "the second largest supplier of explosives products and services in the world," and Wesfarmers, "the largest Australian company by revenue," according to Wikipedia. In New Zealand, it is Ballance-Agri Nutrients, a big farmers' co-operative and the country's sole fertilizer producer. Each aims to make its business "future-proof." The transition from fossil ammonia to renewable ammonia is underway.

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Feeding Life 2030: the vision of Fertilizers Europe

Fertilizers Europe published an important report in late 2018 that examines key drivers for the fertilizer industry and describes the "likely developments expected between now and 2030." These developments include producing "perhaps 10%" of European ammonia from renewable electricity by using electrolyzers to generate renewable hydrogen feedstock. This would require scaling up green ammonia production capacity to more than a million tons per year, within ten years. The report, Feeding Life 2030, also describes the policy framework required "to sustain the Vision." In this vision, ammonia sits at "the crossroads of nutrition and energy" and is recognized as "the ‘missing link’ in the coming energy transformation."