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Ammonia-fueled ships: entering the design phase

Three separate projects to design a range of ammonia-fueled vessels were announced last week at a shipping industry conference in China. Lloyd's Register has granted Approval in Principle (AiP) for the design of a 180,000 ton bulk carrier. ABS announced a project to "produce designs for an ammonia-fueled Chittagongmax container carrier of 2700 TEU capacity." And Lloyd's Register also announced a project for "an ammonia-fuelled 23,000 TEU Ultra-Large Container Ship (ULCS) concept design." All three projects are working with the two-stroke ammonia engine developed by MAN Energy Solutions, and all are led by major shipbuilders in China.

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Safety of Ammonia Energy: First Up, the Maritime Use Case?

ANNUAL REVIEW 2019: Ammonia.  A hazardous chemical, no doubt.  But is it too hazardous to use as an energy vector?  This is a legitimate question that must be addressed as other aspects of the ammonia energy concept advance.  It is also a question whose unique context can be evoked with two other questions: Haven’t the safety issues already been identified and resolved over the last 100 years of widespread agricultural and industrial use?  And even if they have, how will the general public react when proposals for expanded ammonia infrastructure suddenly appear? The earliest tip of this particular iceberg came into view this year when the Dutch naval architecture firm C-Job released Safe and Effective Application of Ammonia as a Marine Fuel.

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Bunker Ammonia: Rapid Cross-Sector Progress from Industry, Government, Finance, and Class Societies

The maritime industry has been engaged in a frenzy of research since April 2018, when the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced its Initial GHG Strategy mandating a 50% reduction in shipping's emissions by 2050. Three recent announcements illustrate the speed and depth of progress across a range of maritime stakeholders. In the government sector, the UK has launched its Clean Maritime Plan, which identifies ammonia as one of its strategic "clean growth opportunities." In finance, a coalition of 11 banks representing a shipping portfolio of around $100 billion has launched the Poseidon Principles to "redefine the role of banks in the maritime shipping sector." And class society ABS launched its Global Sustainability Center in Singapore to analyse, certify, and validate alternative fuels and new technologies; its Director of Global Sustainability will speak at the inaugural conference of the Ammonia Energy Association--Australia, held in Clayton, VIC, on August 22-23. His subject will be "Green ammonia as marine bunker fuel."

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Safe and Effective? New Study Evaluates Ammonia as a Marine Fuel

In mid-June the Dutch naval architecture firm C-Job released "Safe and effective application of ammonia as a marine fuel," a thesis written by the firm’s Lead Naval Architect Niels de Vries for the Marine Technology Master of Science program at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. While the thesis delivers an extensive assessment of ammonia's potential effectiveness as a marine fuel, it breaks new ground in its consideration of ammonia's safety in this context.

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An Open Letter to the International Energy Agency

To the Authors of The Future of Hydrogen: First I would like to thank you for an excellent report.  I have devoted two Ammonia Energy posts to The Future of Hydrogen.  If you read them, you will see that my appraisal is overwhelmingly positive.  But I am writing this letter because I take issue with your characterization of ammonia's hazard profile. I hereby submit that your discussion in this regard is inaccurate and unhelpful.   

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Safety Assessments of Ammonia as a Transportation Fuel

New data from a number of ammonia energy safety studies will be published later this year. In the meantime, two excellent reports already exist that provide comparative, quantitative risk analyses. Each compares the risks of using ammonia as a fuel in passenger vehicles against the risks of other fuels, including gasoline, LPG, CNG, methanol, and hydrogen. Both conclude that the risks associated with using ammonia as a fuel are "similar, if not lower than for the other fuels."

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Importance of Public Perception towards an Ammonia Economy

During development of the technical aspects of any energy project, a social perspective needs to be considered. Public opinion is going to be a fundamental parameter to determine the role of renewables in the future, with decarbonisation meaning innovation towards a comprehensive plan that involves not only technology but also psychology and how these two can benefit from each other. Due to the importance of understanding public perception of ammonia, Cardiff University conducted a study focused on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, which currently presents high revenues in agriculture and depends on ammonia as a fertiliser. An analysis of stakeholder’s perception of ammonia was carried out to understand the different barriers and drivers of each established group.

Paper

NH3: The Optimal Alternative Fuel

Unlike some technology areas where “all of the above” has significant advantages, there are tremendous advantages associated with choosing a single, optimized, liquid transportation fuel. The cost, efficiency and environmental benefits associated with choosing an optimized liquid transportation fuel are enormous and merit serious consideration. NH3 most closely meets the criteria for an ideal liquid transportation fuel. It is the most efficient and cost-effective means of delivering hydrogen and has an extensive world-wide delivery system already in place. Using currently available catalytic controls, NH3 emissions can be even cleaner than hydrogen engine emissions. While NH3 can effectively be produced using…

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Ammonia Fuel Safety

This paper introduces the existing literature on the safety of using ammonia as a fuel, which provides comparative data for a range of traditional and alternative fuels and energy carriers. The studies reviewed conclude that risk levels associated with using ammonia as a fuel are “similar to those of gasoline,” or “similar, if not lower than for the other fuels,” also including hydrogen, methanol, LPG, and CNG. Ammonia as a fuel can meet all “acceptable” risk levels in even the most stringent regulatory jurisdictions. Addressing popular misconceptions and fears by providing robust sources for quantitative data on the dangers of…

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NH3 Safety

The relative safety of NH3 (ammonia) is one of the most debated topics surrounding the adoption of NH3 fuel. Inaccurate and misleading information has been widely circulated on the topic. A thorough examination of the facts will show that the use of NH3 in energy applications will not only meet the most stringent safety standards currently in place worldwide, but that NH3 will be safer to use than many leading transportation fuels. Two highly credible risk assessments analyze the safety of NH3 vs gasoline and other fuels, and both of them conclude that NH3 would be as safe as, or safer than, gasoline, methanol, LPG (propane), CNG (compressed natural gas), or hydrogen.