The Ammonia Wrap: no major obstacles for NoGAPS success and more

Welcome to the Ammonia Wrap: a summary of all the latest announcements, news items and publications about ammonia energy. This week: latest report from NoGAPS, Viking Energy project takes another step, more collaborations for Yara, thyssenkrupp to invest in cracking R&D, investment in clean hydrogen technology in the USA, world-first visualisation of ammonia combustion in a spark-ignition engine and our numbers of the week.


The Ammonia Academic Wrap: “seamless” cracking, improving Haber Bosch, a novel green power-to-ammonia-to-power solution and a review into the use of ammonia as a fuel

Welcome to the Ammonia Academic Wrap: a summary of all the latest papers, developments and emerging trends in the world of ammonia energy R&D. This week: "seamless" ammonia cracking tech from Northwestern, a new electrolysis catalyst, successful integration of ammonia synthesis and separation for improved efficiency, more research needed into transition metal catalysts for Haber Bosch, a novel, green power-to-ammonia to power system and a review on ammonia as a potential fuel.


The Ammonia Wrap: commercial turbines, another GW of green ammonia, Viking Energy updates, and “any-fuel” high-temp PEM fuel cells

Welcome to the Ammonia Wrap: a summary of all the latest announcements, news items and publications about ammonia energy. This week: commercialised ammonia gas turbines, TDK and GenCell join forces, another GW of green ammonia production, small-scale green ammonia in rural Japan, hydroelectric ammonia in Laos, Viking Energy vessel updates, new partnerships for Haldor Topsoe and "any-fuel" high-temp PEM fuel cells.


New Twists for Japanese Ene-Farms

Over the last two months, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has selected at least four natural gas utilities to participate in “verification projects” under its Building Virtual Power Plant Using Customer-Side Energy Resources program. Participating utilities so far include Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas, Seibu Gas, and J Power. The program is intended to facilitate the development of renewable electricity in Japan and is shining a new light on the deployment of fuel cells in the country's built environment.


Environmental and Economic Assessment of Ammonia as a Fuel for Ships

This month, the Korean Register published a comparative assessment of the environmental and economic merits of using ammonia as a maritime fuel. The work, written in collaboration with researchers at Pusan National University, is published in the open-access Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. It concludes that "ammonia can be a carbon-free fuel for ships," and presents "a meaningful approach toward solving GHG problems in the maritime industry."


Japan Advances SOFCs for the Built Environment

A steady stream of Japanese news reports over the last several months attest to the country’s progress in deploying fuel cells in the built environment. Dubbed “Ene-Farms,” the appliances function as micro-scale combined heat and power units, providing electricity as well as heat for domestic applications. Most of the Ene-Farms deployed so far feature proton-exchange membrane (PEM) technology (which requires high-purity hydrogen). However, two recent developments show that solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology (well suited for ammonia) could play a role, maybe even a large role, in Japan's Hydrogen Society.


Viking Energy to be retrofit for ammonia fuel in 2024

This morning, it was announced that the "Viking Energy," a supply vessel for Equinor's offshore operations, will be modified to run on a 2 MW direct ammonia fuel cell. This will be a five year project: the technology will be scaled-up on land before being installed on the vessel, which will begin a year of GHG emission-free operations in 2024. The Norwegian partners leading this "world's first" project include shipowner Eidesvik, contractor Equinor, and ammonia producer Yara, as well as Wärtsilä (Wärtsilä Norway), responsible for power technology and ammonia storage and distribution systems, and Prototech, delivering the fuel cell system.


Tri-State announces clean energy plan, retires coal assets

Yesterday, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association launched its "transformative" Responsible Energy Plan, which will "dramatically and rapidly advance the wholesale power supply cooperative’s clean energy portfolio." Last week, the utility announced the retirement of its last coal-fired power plants in New Mexico and Colorado. These two announcements provide context for a presentation at the Ammonia Energy Conference in November 2019, entitled Market Integrated Ammonia. Its conclusion — highly relevant for a utility that is closing its coal plants and increasing renewables to 50% by 2024 — is that in a wholesale electricity market with increased volatility, renewable ammonia could be produced at the extremely low cost of $96 per tonne.


High efficiency ammonia synthesis systems

Haldor Topsøe A/S has developed a new technology for generation of ammonia synthesis gas via Solid Oxide electrolysis, which eliminates an air separation unit and has 20-30 % lower power consumption than traditional electrolysis based processes. The concept will be demonstrated in a 50 kW unit along with test of ammonia as fuel for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. The partners in the project are: Vestas, Ørsted, Energinet, Aarhus University and DTU, and it is sponsored by the Danish Energy Development Programme.


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.