Ammonia Co-firing Slash CO2 Emissions: Mitsubishi and JERA's Studies - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Ammonia Co-firing Slash CO2 Emissions: Mitsubishi and JERA’s Studies

Here’s an article posted in Powermag that talks about the studies by Mitsubishi and JERA which unveil Ammonia co-firing potential.

According to the article,

  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and a Chilean independent power producer are conducting a feasibility study on ammonia co-firing at a power plant in Chile.
  • The study aims to achieve a 20% co-firing rate and assess the supply of ammonia burners and other necessary equipment.
  • JERA, a Japanese joint venture, and IHI Corp. are working on a project to establish ammonia co-firing technology at the Hekinan Thermal Power Station in Japan.
  • The project aims to eventually achieve a 20% co-firing rate.

More details about Ammonia Co-firing:

Ammonia co-firing refers to the process of burning ammonia along with a primary fuel, such as coal or natural gas, in a power generation system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Ammonia (NH3) is seen as an attractive fuel for co-firing because, when combusted, it produces only nitrogen and water vapor, emitting no CO2.

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Specific Data Points and Informative Facts

  1. Combustion Characteristics: Ammonia burns at a temperature of about 650°C, which is lower than that of natural gas or coal. This lower combustion temperature can help in reducing the formation of nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are harmful pollutants.
  2. Energy Density: Ammonia has an energy density of about 11.5 MJ/kg, which is lower than that of hydrogen (about 120 MJ/kg) and natural gas (around 55 MJ/kg). This lower energy density means that more ammonia is needed to produce the same amount of energy as these fuels.
  3. Co-firing Ratios: Current ammonia co-firing projects are experimenting with ammonia making up to 20-30% of the fuel mix. Increasing this percentage poses challenges due to ammonia’s combustion properties and the existing boiler technologies.
  4. Emissions Reduction: Trials have shown that co-firing with ammonia can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20% per unit of power generated, depending on the co-firing ratio and the type of primary fuel used.

Proof Examples

  • Japan’s Initiative: Japan has been a leader in ammonia co-firing research and pilot projects. In 2020, the country’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) successfully tested co-firing ammonia at a rate of 20% with coal in a commercial power plant boiler. This project aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of reducing CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants.
  • European Projects: In Europe, projects such as the “FLEXnCONFU” are exploring the potential of using ammonia in gas turbines and combined cycle power plants. This EU-funded project is looking at ammonia as a way to increase the flexibility and sustainability of power generation from natural gas.
  • U.S. Research: In the United States, the Department of Energy has funded research into ammonia as a low-carbon fuel option for power generation, focusing on both its combustion in existing turbine designs and its potential in fuel cell applications.

Ammonia co-firing is still an emerging technology, and while it holds promise for reducing carbon emissions in power generation, significant challenges remain, particularly concerning safe ammonia handling, storage, and transportation, as well as the need for modifications to existing power plant infrastructures.

Interestingly, we have some other posts related to this content:

Green Ammonia’s Future: European Summit 2024: ACI article highlights key elements of the summit, including dates (March 6-7, 2024), location (Düsseldorf, Germany), and agenda featuring keynote speeches and workshops. Green Ammonia’s Role in Hydrogen Market: Green ammonia projects face evolving prospects. Selling to existing ammonia market may be better than conversion to hydrogen due to cost and efficiency concerns.

About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.


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