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Cracking Ammonia: panel wrap-up from the Ammonia Energy Conference

When should we be cracking ammonia? How much should we be cracking? How could better cracking technologies open up new end uses? What are the critical challenges still to be overcome for cracking ammonia? On November 17, 2020, the Ammonia Energy Association (AEA) hosted a panel discussion moderated by Bill David from Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), as well as panel members Josh Makepeace from the University of Birmingham, Joe Beach from Starfire Energy, Gennadi Finkelshtain from GenCell Energy, Camel Makhloufi from ENGIE, and Michael Dolan from Fortescue as part of the recent Ammonia Energy Conference. All panelists agreed that cracking technology as it stands has a number of key areas to be optimised, particularly catalyst improvements and energy efficiency. But, successful demonstrations of modular, targeted cracking solutions are accelerating the conversation forward.

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Starfire Energy’s ammonia cracking and cracked gas purification technology

Ammonia cracking is important for both combustion and fuel cell applications. Starfire Energy has verified that a blend of 70% ammonia + 30% cracked ammonia can burn well in a conventional natural gas burner with very low ammonia slip and acceptable NOx using a stoichiometric fuel-air mixture. A 10 MW turbine or internal combustion engine using such a blend will need about 1.44 tonnes of cracked ammonia per hour. Starfire Energy’s monolith-supported cracking catalyst may be ideally suited for this application. Fully cracked ammonia retains several thousand parts per million of ammonia due to thermodynamic limitations. Residual ammonia can damage…

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Literature Review: Ammonia as a Fuel for Compression Ignition Engines

The diesel engine, also known as the compression ignition (CI) engine, has been a workhorse of the modern energy economy for more than a hundred years. Its role in the coming sustainable energy economy will be determined by its ability to co-evolve with climate-friendly fuels. Two researchers from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan have now examined the fit between ammonia and the CI engine. Pavlos Dimitriou and Rahat Javaid arrive at a two-part conclusion in their paper, “A review of ammonia as a compression ignition engine fuel,” published in January in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. Part one is good news: “Ammonia as a compression ignition fuel can be currently seen as a feasible solution.” Part two is a dose of qualifying reality: to manage emissions of N2O, NOx, and unburnt NH3, “aftertreatment systems are mandatory for the adaptation of this technology,” which means that ammonia-fueled CI engines are likely to be feasible “only for marine, power generation and possibly heavy-duty applications where no significant space constraints exist.”

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Synthesis and Assessment of Process Systems for Production of Ammonia Using Nitric Oxide in Combustion Exhaust Gas

Recently, ammonia is regarded as an alternative fuel without carbon dioxide (CO2). Numerous studies have been performed using ammonia as a fuel. Iki and Kurata confirmed the working of a prototype for the ammonia gas turbine, where ammonia burned in an environmentally benign way to generate electricity, exhausting only water and nitrogen [1]. From the view of cycle of ammonia for the development of a society with low carbon, it is required to synthesize carbon-free ammonia (green ammonia) in small plants. This green ammonia can be synthesized using renewable energy, with hydrogen from electrolysis of water and nitrogen from pressure…

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New Technology of the Ammonia Co-Firing with Pulverized Coal to Reduce the NOx Emission

Ammonia is recognized as the new energy carrier and it is expected to be introduced into the society in a short time, since the infrastructures related to the ammonia, such as the mass production, transportation and storage are already introduced to produce the fertilizer for the agriculture. There is one technical issue, to use the ammonia in the direct combustion as the fuel for the electric power generation. It is the increase of the NO concentration in the exhaust gas. Ammonia contains the large amount of the nitrogen, comparing with any other fuels that human being has ever treated. Nitrogen…

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Performance of Ammonia/Natural Gas Co-Fired Gas Turbine with Two-Stage Combustor

Ammonia has several advantages as renewable energy career [1-3]. Regarding the manufacturing process, the Harbor-Bosch method is already established. For transportation, ammonia can easily be liquefied at room temperature. Therefore, both transportation and storage are much easier than in case of hydrogen. In utilization, ammonia is combustible and used as a carbon-free fuel. However, ammonia has different combustion characteristics from natural gas. For example, the nitrogen atom contained in ammonia molecule causes high NOx emission through fuel NOx mechanisms [3]. Laminar burning velocity of ammonia is much lower; it might increase unburnt ammonia emission and cause unstable operation of gas…

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Pure Ammonia Combustion Micro Gas Turbine System

To protect against global warming, a massive influx of renewable energy is expected. Although hydrogen is a renewable media, its storage and transportation in large quantity has some problems. Ammonia fuel, however, is a hydrogen energy carrier and carbon-free fuel, and its storage and transportation technology is already established. In the 1960s, development of ammonia combustion gas turbines was abandoned because combustion efficiency was unacceptably low [1]. Recent demand for hydrogen energy carriers has revived the interest in ammonia as fuel [2, 3]. In 2015, ammonia-combustion gas turbine power generation was reported in Japan using a 50-kW class micro gas…

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Duiker Combustion Engineers BV Stoichiometry-Controlled Oxidation (SCO) Technology for Industrial Ammonia Combustion

In recent years, the stoichiometry-controlled oxidation (SCO) concept has been developed by Duiker Combustion Engineers to handle the ammonia-rich streams from sulphur recovery units within refineries. These ammonia rich streams are considered as waste streams that need to be destroyed with low NOx emissions. Several full-scale commercial SCO units have already been designed, delivered, installed and put in operation on refinery sites across the world, firing pure ammonia or rich ammonia-containing flows. The SCO technology has been based upon staged combustion and turns out to be a robust process, which is easy to operate and responds fast to upset conditions.…

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Performance of Ammonia-Natural Gas Co-Fired Gas Turbine for Power Generation

Ammonia is paid special attention as renewable energy carrier [1-3], because it offers advantages in generation, transportation and utilization. Haber-Bosch method is already established as ammonia generation method; large amount of ammonia is already used as fertilizer and chemical raw material. Ammonia can be liquefied at room temperature. Its transport and storage system are already established. Ammonia is cheaper to transport than hydrogen. Ammonia can be used as carbon-free fuel in internal combustion engines as alternative to conventional hydrocarbon fuels. However, it has different combustion characteristics. For example, the nitrogen atom contained in the ammonia molecule, causes high NOx emission…

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Experimental and Computational Study for Reduction of NOx Emissions in the Ammonia / Methane Co-Combustion in a 10 KW Furnace

There are severe issues on increasing amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission in the world. Many studies are devoted to alternative fuels. One of promising candidates is the utilization of ammonia which is zero emission of CO2, a hydrogen energy carrier, and also can be burned directly as a fuel. For direct combustion of ammonia in industrial furnaces, there were two issues which were weaker radiative heat flux and a huge amount of NOx emission compared with the combustion of methane. We already have reported [1] the solution of the former issue by using the oxygen enriched combustion. The objective…