LNG vs. Blue Ammonia in Future! Wood Mackenzie's Report  - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Themes and Topics

  • 45Q tax credit
  • Blue ammonia production
  • Carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM)
  • Energy transition scenarios by Wood Mackenzie.
  • Gas reforming with carbon capture
  • Green ammonia production
  • Hydrogen Research at Wood Mackenzie
  • LNG export facilities
  • US Gulf Coast blue ammonia projects
  • Wood Mackenzie Horizons report
  • LNG vs. Blue Ammonia in Future! Wood Mackenzie’s Report 

    Here’s an article posted in Ing Industry.

    According to the article,

    • Demand for LNG is expected to grow by just under 70% over the next 25 years to reach 700 t/y by 2050. But neither growth nor revenue is locked in for LNG.
    • Blue ammonia can be viewed as further industrial diversification, with potentially better returns.
    • There are only a limited number of ammonia off-takers right now, but this list will grow fast.

    Additional details related to the post:

    Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Blue Ammonia are both energy carriers but have distinct characteristics, production processes, and applications. Here is the detailed comparison between these two:

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    Composition:

    LNG: Primarily composed of methane (CH4), with small amounts of other hydrocarbons such as ethane, propane, and butane.

    Blue Ammonia: Composed of hydrogen (NH3). The “blue” designation indicates that it is produced using a process that captures and stores or utilizes carbon dioxide emissions.

    Production Process:

    LNG: Produced by cooling natural gas to around -162 degrees Celsius (-260 degrees Fahrenheit), at which point it becomes a liquid. This liquefaction process involves the removal of impurities and heavy hydrocarbons.

    Blue Ammonia: Produced by combining nitrogen (N2) and hydrogen (H2) using the Haber-Bosch process to produce ammonia (NH3). In the case of “blue” ammonia, the hydrogen used in the process is produced from natural gas through steam methane reforming (SMR) or autothermal reforming (ATR) combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to mitigate CO2 emissions.

    Carbon Footprint:

    LNG: While burning LNG emits less CO2 compared to coal or oil, its production process can still contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through methane leaks during extraction, processing, and transportation.

    Blue Ammonia: Blue ammonia production involves capturing and storing or utilizing CO2 emissions, resulting in lower overall greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional ammonia production methods.

    Energy Density:

    LNG: Has a high energy density, making it suitable for long-distance transportation and storage.

    Blue Ammonia: While its energy density is lower than that of LNG, it can still be a viable energy carrier, especially for applications where direct combustion is not necessary, such as in fuel cells or as a feedstock for chemical processes.

    Applications:

    LNG: Primarily used as a fuel for electricity generation, heating, and as a transportation fuel for ships, trucks, and buses.

    Blue Ammonia: Can be used as a fuel for power generation, transportation (as a hydrogen carrier), and as a feedstock for various industrial processes, including fertilizer production and chemical synthesis.

    Market Trends:

    LNG: The LNG market has seen significant growth in recent years, driven by increasing demand for cleaner-burning fuels and the expansion of LNG infrastructure.

    Blue Ammonia: While still in the early stages of development, blue ammonia has garnered interest as a potential low-carbon alternative to traditional ammonia, particularly in regions seeking to decarbonize their energy systems.

    Environmental Impact:

    LNG: Concerns exist regarding methane emissions throughout the LNG supply chain, as methane is a potent greenhouse gas.

    Blue Ammonia: The “blue” designation indicates efforts to mitigate CO2 emissions, potentially offering a lower-carbon alternative to conventional ammonia production. However, challenges remain in scaling up blue ammonia production and ensuring the integrity of carbon capture and storage processes.

    In summary, while both LNG and Blue Ammonia are energy carriers, they differ in composition, production processes, carbon footprint, applications, and market trends. Blue Ammonia, with its potential for lower carbon emissions, represents a promising avenue for addressing climate change concerns in the energy sector.

    Some of the interesting questions we have regarding this stuff:

    1) How does the economic viability of blue ammonia compare to that of LNG in the context of current and future market conditions?

    2) What are the environmental impacts and benefits of switching from LNG to blue ammonia for gas resource holders?

    3) How might the introduction of Europe’s carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) affect the competitiveness of blue ammonia versus traditional gas products?



    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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