Green Ammonia and Methanol: Facing a Costly Reality
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Whilst green ammonia and methanol show huge potential for decarbonization, practical uses get hindered due to reasons such as cost, scalability etc.

Here’s an article posted in energy post that explains how Green Ammonia and Methanol serve as clean energy heroes.

According to the article,

Top management consulting experts for Bio-energy, EV, Solar, Green Hydrogen

  • Green ammonia and methanol production is expected to be more expensive than the production of blue fuels.
  • Ammonia and methanol are emerging as promising green liquid fuels for energy purposes.
  • Green ammonia is produced from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, or hydro power, making it a carbon-free fuel source and a more environmentally friendly alternative to conventional fossil fuels.
  • Methanol has a lower carbon intensity compared to conventional fossil fuels and can be produced from renewable or non-renewable sources.

Besides huge cost, here are the other challenges faced in the scale-up of these green fuels:

  • Developing stable and efficient catalysts for ammonia and methanol synthesis: Current catalysts often require high temperatures and pressures, which increase energy consumption.
  • Scaling up emerging technologies like electrocatalytic and photocatalytic ammonia synthesis: While these innovative methods show promise for producing ammonia with lower energy inputs, they are still in early development stages. .
  • Coupling renewable energy sources with ammonia production while managing variability: The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources like wind and solar poses challenges for consistent ammonia production. This may involve advancements in energy storage technologies and smart grid solutions to balance supply and demand effectively.
  • Building out ammonia bunkering infrastructure at ports for use as shipping fuel: For green ammonia to be utilized in maritime applications, a comprehensive infrastructure for storage, refueling, and distribution at ports must be established. This includes developing safety protocols and facilities to handle ammonia, ensuring that the necessary logistics are in place to support its adoption as a shipping fuel.
  • Transporting and storing ammonia safely given its toxicity: Ammonia is hazardous and requires careful handling during transportation and storage.
  • Mitigating elevated NOx emissions from ammonia combustion: The use of ammonia as a fuel can lead to the formation of nitrogen oxides (NOx), which contribute to air pollution. Research into combustion technologies that minimize NOx emissions, such as advanced burners and catalytic converters, is necessary to ensure that the environmental advantages of ammonia are not compromised by increased pollution.
  • Controlling nitrous oxide emissions which has a high global warming potential: Nitrous oxide (N2O) can be released during ammonia production and its use as fertilizer.
  • Achieving cost competitiveness with fossil fuel alternatives in the near-term: Green ammonia and methanol currently face higher production costs compared to fossil fuels.

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