A really interesting find! Thanks for that. It will still suffer similar efficiency losses as direct Hydrogen production for fuel cells (compared to using Li-ion batteries), but at least it is significantly more advantages than hydrogen in terms of storage and transport - and has the bonus of disrupting the Haber process for making fertilisers - another huge industry.
I’m very interested in H2/ammonia scene. I feel it’s the future and prevents carbon release. H2 is relatively expensive still but price is coming down.
If you’re an energy geek, worth checking out Proton Tech Canada although not on FT or public. They think they can produce H2 very cheaply directly from oil wells. Clean hydrogen that undercuts hydrocarbon fuel price is the key…
Watch this space
I couldn’t find this when I wrote my original post but here it is now. It’s a news story from back in January but it’s what actually sent me down the ammonia rabbit hole.
This is the first time an ammonia-powered fuel cell will be installed on a vessel. A significant part of the project will be the scale up of a 100-kilowatt fuel cell to 2 megawatts. The ammonia fuel-cell system will be installed in Viking Energy in late 2023. The technology will be tested on the vessel from 2024.
A recent study by A.P. Moller - Maersk and Lloyds Register found that alcohol, biomethane and ammonia are the best-positioned fuels to reach zero net emissions for shipping.
I wonder if safety might be an stumbling block with ammonia? It is a great fuel, that’s for sure.
The article below suggest that the risk is “acceptable” but then we have been burning fossil fuels for past few centuries and that was considered acceptable. I’m not sure if I would rather be in a car crash fuelled by petrol or ammonia, I suspect the former, just because of what ammonia does to your lungs and eyes, without the necessity of an ignition source.
I think this could well be a way forward but also end up as a bit of a VHS/Betamax moment with energy technologies and it may not be the best tech that wins, nor the winner that keeps the market long term. I am tempted to hedge my bets with a broad spread of technologies and keep an eye on the match (excuse the pun).
I look forward to hearing more in this thread as it is of interest to me too.