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Green Ammonia: Exploring Market Dynamics and Conversion Challenges

Here’s an article found in PS Media Network that talks about the following:

  • Green ammonia projects, aimed at exporting to Europe as a hydrogen carrier, have gained traction in the Mena region.
  • However, the cost of converting green ammonia back to hydrogen through cracking and potential efficiency losses may undermine its attractiveness as a hydrogen carrier.
  • Speakers suggest that selling green ammonia into the existing ammonia market, particularly to displace grey ammonia, may be a more feasible and attractive option.
  • Direct use of green ammonia could be more appealing for some producers, avoiding the conversion process back to hydrogen.
  • The focus on displacing grey ammonia is identified as the “lowest-hanging fruit” in green ammonia production.

Additional information related to the post:

Green ammonia and green hydrogen are both pivotal in the shift towards sustainable energy solutions. They share a common goal of reducing carbon emissions but have distinct characteristics and uses. Here’s a detailed look at their similarities and differences, with specific data points and examples to illustrate their roles in the energy sector.

Similarities between Green Ammonia and Green Hydrogen

  1. Production Source: Both are produced using renewable energy sources. Green hydrogen is produced via electrolysis of water, powered by renewable energy such as wind, solar, or hydro. This hydrogen can then be used to produce green ammonia through the Haber-Bosch process, which combines nitrogen from the air with hydrogen.
  2. Environmental Impact: Both significantly reduce carbon emissions compared to their traditional counterparts. For instance, producing hydrogen from fossil fuels emits approximately 830g of CO2 per kg of hydrogen, while green hydrogen production results in near-zero emissions.
  3. Role in Energy Transition: They are both considered crucial for the decarbonization of industries that are hard to electrify, such as heavy transportation and chemical manufacturing.

Differences between Green Ammonia and Green Hydrogen

  1. Chemical Composition and Storage:
    • Green Hydrogen: Consists purely of hydrogen molecules. Storing hydrogen is challenging due to its low density; it requires high pressures or cryogenic temperatures.
    • Green Ammonia: Composed of nitrogen and hydrogen (NH3). It is easier to liquify than hydrogen (requiring less pressure and higher temperature) and is therefore often considered a more viable option for the long-term storage and transport of hydrogen.
  2. Usage:
    • Green Hydrogen: Can be used directly in fuel cells to generate electricity, in industrial processes, or blended into natural gas pipelines.
    • Green Ammonia: Mainly used as a fertilizer in agriculture, but it is also emerging as a fuel for power generation and maritime fuel, offering a practical solution for transporting hydrogen.
  3. Economic and Scale Considerations:
    • Cost: The production cost of green hydrogen is currently between $3-$6 per kg but is projected to fall below $2 per kg by 2030 due to advancements in electrolysis technology and increased deployment of renewable energy sources.
    • Production Scale: Global hydrogen production is about 70 million tons per year, with green hydrogen making up a small fraction, though expected to increase significantly. Green ammonia production is also scaling up, with projects like the $5 billion green ammonia plant planned in Saudi Arabia, aiming to produce 1.2 million tons per year by 2026.
  4. Innovative Projects and Developments:
    • Green Hydrogen: The world’s largest green hydrogen project, NEOM in Saudi Arabia, aims to produce hydrogen for export as a clean energy source.
    • Green Ammonia: In Australia, the Asian Renewable Energy Hub plans to produce both green hydrogen and green ammonia directly using solar and wind resources, emphasizing the dual-purpose potential of renewable installations.

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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.

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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