2023 Amogy White Paper Debunking Myths about Ammonias Safety and Scalability
Ammonia’s potential extends far beyond its current uses. While today, it is mostly used as a fertilizer base material to enrich crops and sustain the world’s population, it is being increasingly considered as a promising alternative fuel that can help decarbonize energy consumption in the most emissions-heavy sectors. Providing higher energy density than other clean alternatives, such as standalone liquid hydrogen or battery applications, ammonia is a versatile chemical that can be used with various fuel cell systems to unlock a range of ammonia-to-power energy applications (e.g., dedicated hydrogen or power provision) that can serve a variety of sectors from maritime transport to stationary power generation.
Despite these capabilities, the ammonia market continues to struggle due to common misconceptions. This white paper discusses eight prevailing myths associated with the production, transportation, storage, handling, and use of ammonia. These myths pertain to the following:
1) Ammonia safety
2) The carbon intensity of ammonia production
3) Ammonia’s cost-competitiveness
4) The sufficiency of prevailing policy incentives to support the ammonia market
5) Ammonia cracking
6) Emissions related to ammonia’s use in transportation and power generation
7) Ammonia’s role in emerging power systems
8) The ammonia market’s scalability
Multiple factors are driving interest in ammonia for new applications. Recent progress in decarbonizing ammonia production and technological advances in ammonia-based propulsion and power generation have galvanized interest in ammonia as a carbon-free energy solution for hard-to-decarbonize sectors. However, ammonia’s benefits and scalability as a zero-carbon energy source are less understood than those of alternatives such as hydrogen or batteries. As a result, ammonia has not garnered as much attention as other decarbonization fuels and technologies being considered in the wider energy transition. For example, awareness may remain low about ammonia combustion’s potential use as a direct fuel, or the combination of ammonia cracking and fuel cell technologies, even as commercial applications are currently being introduced and the necessary underlying technologies are commercially mature. With these barriers in mind, this paper seeks to dispel some of the common myths regarding ammonia as a fuel.